I, for one, would be happy to see this kind of thing more often.
A few days ago, President Michael Roth sent out an open letter to the campus community, commenting on the values that bring us together, noting the value of discussion in times of crisis, and speaking out against attempts to incite divisions within our campus community, echoing Barack Obama’s recent sentiment about strength in diverse opinions and passions united through a common community. I, for one, would be happy to see this kind of thing more often. There is a strong desire among students for visible, high-level, normative leadership in the ever ongoing process of community building at Wesleyan, particularly in times of community disruption, and this generally fits the bill. A little later than some might prefer, perhaps, but better late than never.
In his letter, Roth touched on the debates around financial aid, of which you may have heard, among other issues, and openly acknowledged the diversity of opinions on those debates and issues and the need to continue the conversation as we move forward. In the vein, Roth notes that he has regular office hours (I recommend scheduling an appointment ahead of time with Lisa LaPlant in South College) and is happy to meet with any group of students, formally or informally, on more or less any subject. If you’ve got something to say, go talk to him.
Roth also commented on issues of racism in recent events and mentioned an important panel/forum in which he will be participating on Monday night. The student organized event will carry forward the campus conversation on race and respect, involving Vice President for Diversity and Institutional Partnerships Sonia Manjon, officers from Public Safety, and students. 7:30PM in Beckham Hall, Monday November 12th.
Our community is not out of the woods. We still suffer from indifference and intolerance. Our community needs support, support from the individuals that make up the whole.
The full letter after the jump.