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Jan. 7: Statement on violence at U.S. Capitol

America has faced dissent in many forms through its history, but yesterday’s disorder and violence in Washington, D.C., is especially unsettling. The U.S. Capitol itself is no stranger to protests, but the intimidation that sought to thwart one of the most important and symbolic exercises in America’s democracy — the free and fair election of our leaders and peaceful transition of power — is beyond the pale and unsupported by any decent appeal to justice or patriotism.

This behavior is unacceptable and weakens our country — and as leaders, we have a responsibility to oppose it. We encourage and invite our academic community to join us in speaking out against this unlawful behavior and call for understanding and supporting our democracy.

Our primary duty is to the safety and well-being of our campus community, and more broadly, to provide an environment that is also welcoming, respectful and supportive. That imperative continues unabated.

As yesterday's events may have impacted members of our community in different ways, we want to remind all students and employees that we offer various resources, including counseling services, for support. We recognize that our faculty, staff and students will start the spring semester under pressure created by the pandemic, election and ongoing challenges.

This is a time to pull together with our own Spartan community and beyond to reaffirm the bonds we share and commitment to our best ideals. Let us encourage one another and not lose faith at a most important moment for our democracy.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President                             MSU Board of Trustees