The following is a message from TU President Gerard P. Clancy, M.D.:
The 2016 election was unusual in many respects. One of its outcomes was to throw our nation’s political and social divides into sharp relief. Difference, in and of itself, is a natural and desirable feature of our democratic society, but how we decide to handle that difference can either unite us or set us against each other.
Following Tuesday’s election results, the national media has brought us reports of harassment, vandalism and other abuses. Many Americans are concerned, if not outright afraid, that the color of their skin, the religion they practice, the people they love or the politics they espouse (whatever those might be) could make them targets of violence.
The University of Tulsa is a family that represents 45 U.S. states and 66 other nations – a living testament to our mission of educating men and women of diverse backgrounds and cultures to, among other things, behave ethically in all aspects of their lives and to welcome the responsibility of citizenship, service and leadership in a changing world. In embracing these principles, we maintain our campus as a safe and inclusive home for all – employing, whenever possible, the ideals of open dialogue and free inquiry.
We all have differences, but no matter where they reside on the spectrum of our daily discourse, their exploration can and should be encouraged in a community of learners and educators who welcome the exchange of ideas, beliefs and perspectives without fear of repercussion or consequence.
History will remember us for our words and our actions. Let us be remembered as those who chose to embrace our values and live them fully.