The recent presidential election has polarized our society and country. The result of the polarization is that we have seen a variety of protests and demonstrations across the country, from a variety of viewpoints. There is much discussion occurring in our society and Vol State is no exception. There is dialog about race relations, sexual discrimination, the economy, immigration and other issues. Dialog and discussion are good things, even when the issues are quite difficult. Part of the college experience is to create a place for such discussions. Civil discourse is a hallmark of higher education. But that’s not a promise that everything will be comfortable when it comes to dialog about issues. The college campus is a place for the exchange of opinions and ideas. It is important that such discussions enhance, not inhibit learning.
However, when discussion degenerates into language and actions that attack people as groups and individuals- that is a problem. Vol State is a diverse community and we value every member of the community. Because we value every member, we must treat each other with respect, regardless of our views and beliefs. We will tolerate nothing less. No one on campus should feel that they are under attack because of who they are or because of the values they hold.
The Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life are already working with faculty and students to create opportunities for us all to participate in true communication and discussion surrounding the issues.
Again, we expect exemplary behavior on the part of all members of the college community. Should there ever be a situation that results in verbal or physical threats, you should call Campus Police immediately. Otherwise, your first stop for concerns is the Student Services Office in the Wood Campus Center Room 217. You can ask for advice, make a complaint or just talk to someone.
My open door policy extends to all of you as we work through these evolving times. You can schedule an appointment with my office or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Vol State President, Jerry Faulkner