To the Wayne State University community:
Over the past two days, our nation and our campus have been trying to absorb and understand the implications of Tuesday’s election. This may be difficult for some, particularly in the wake of this long, emotional and sometimes divisive election process. But whether we agree or disagree with the election outcome, we must come together for the sake of our students, our university and our community.
Last night we held a dialog in the Undergraduate Library to provide a space for people to share their thoughts and feelings, and to engage in conversation about how collectively to create a campus community that is safe, welcoming and inclusive for everyone. The dialog was facilitated by our Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Office of Multicultural Student Engagement, and was attended and supported by people throughout campus.
We have seen protests on and around campus, and we support and protect people’s constitutional rights to free speech and assembly. This is a basic responsibility of any university, and one we take very seriously. But, similar to other universities, Wayne State has broader responsibilities, including diversity and inclusion, which are woven into our history, our mission, our strategic plan and most importantly our day-to-day interactions with each other.
We are hearing scattered reports of incidents of intolerance directed at some members of our community. While freedom of speech is important, we will not tolerate acts of harassment or intimidation taken against anyone. I encourage anyone who has been targeted by such actions to report this to a university official.
It is tempting to give in to our fears and emotions at times like this, but I encourage all of us to appeal to our better selves, to understand and support those who are struggling or feel marginalized, and to treat everyone, even those with whom we disagree, with respect and civility.
For all who feel in need of additional support, please reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement, the Employee Assistance Program in Human Resources or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
M. Roy Wilson