Dear Campus Community,
Yesterday we witnessed a stunning assault on our nation’s Capitol and on the very essence of democracy itself—the peaceful transition of power through our election process. The condemnation of these violent acts has been nearly universal across the political spectrum and many have called for a renewed commitment to civil discourse, to respecting our Constitution, and to the peaceful resolution of conflict and disagreement. When the work of Congress resumed after yesterday’s violence, several members from both parties also called on their colleagues and the American people to commit to the hard work of telling the truth as a fundamental starting point for preserving our democracy.
Now, more than ever, as we face increasingly dangerous offensives against our democratic institutions, it is vital for institutions of higher education to restate our commitment to these values and to redouble our efforts to teach our students what is required of us as citizens and scholars. UA Little Rock, like all universities, is committed to discovering and disseminating what is true, and when the facts are in dispute, to reconciling those differences through established and respected practices of review and debate. We model these practices for our students and encourage broad application. UA Little Rock is also committed to community engagement and good citizenship. As our mission statement says, we must “promote humane sensitivities and understanding of interdependence” and in doing so, we help each other recognize that we are stronger when we work together to create a sustainable future.
The storming of the U.S. Capitol building yesterday was frightening and disheartening, and should be condemned in the strongest terms, but we can choose to use this awful experience to strengthen our resolve to carry on the important work of educating our students and fortifying our democracy with truth and respect. As others have observed, democracy is a fragile thing; hard earned and easily lost. We can’t afford to take it for granted. We must continue to do our part.