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What will you do about our schools and violence, M...

What will you do about our schools and violence, Mr. Trump?

With our new President-elect getting ready to take over the White House in January, there have been a few requests piling on top of his desk for his first official day in office.

Well, it’s actually more than just a few. Currently, about 129 university presidents have come together to draft up and sign a letter that urges Donald Trump to:

Work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office.

Forget the illegal immigrants and the “very tall wall” you’re going to build. What will you do about the violence that takes place on our turf, by our citizens targeting the most vulnerable?

We can’t just kick them out of the country and be done with it, can we?

Universities have numerously been at the center of national news for various but equally grave reasons. Some schools have even prearranged walk-outs following Election Day. This can’t be what you wished for, can it?

Mr. Trump, whether he realizes it or not, has some big shoes to fill. As America’s new President, he gets the coveted honor of addressing every single issue there is in the nation and appeasing the mass. Supposedly no matter how small or large. So will 129 university presidents be enough to gain his attention?

The presidents write they are in fear for, “Members of our communities, our children, our families, our neighbors, our students and our employees [who] are facing very real threats.”

The distress is understandable. In light of the shady videos and pompous words and actions against some people throughout his campaign, our president-elect hasn’t given half the country much hope that he even cares about things like this.

But hopefully all is not lost. With a country split directly in half, we must find the bridge that unites the United States again. It’s not impossible, but for it to work requires empathy and understanding of everyone’s needs and griefs. As our third grade teacher would say, it’s time to put on our “listening ears” and actually comprehend and a take positive course of action.

So Mr. President-elect, can you hear your Americans? Can you address their worries? Why don’t you start with 129 university presidents pleading for you empathy?

Here’s a look at the entire letter if you’d like to read:

(Source from Inside Higher Ed)

Dear President-elect Trump,

As do you, we “seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.” In order to maintain the trust required for such productive engagement, it is essential that we immediately reaffirm the core values of our democratic nation: human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination. As college and university presidents, we commit ourselves to promoting these values on our campuses and in our communities, and we stand alongside the business, nonprofit, religious and civic leaders who are doing the same in organizations large and small.

In light of your pledge to be “President for all Americans,” we urge you to condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office. In our schools, on job sites and college campuses, on public streets and in coffee shops, members of our communities, our children, our families, our neighbors, our students and our employees are facing very real threats, and are frightened.

One of the roles of leaders is to protect and empower the most vulnerable. As president-elect, this responsibility rests heavily on you. Let this be a mark of your leadership.

Presidents and Chancellors Who Signed Letter (alphabetical by institution):

Raymond E. Crossman, Adler University

Mauri Ditzler, Albion College

Mark Zupan, Alfred University

Jeff Abernathy, Alma College

Biddy Martin, Amherst College

William R. Groves, Antioch University

John M. Sullivan, Art Academy of Cincinnati

Paul C. Pribbenow, Augsburg College

Steven Bahls, Augustana College

Marjorie Hass, Austin College

Leon Botstein, Bard College

Mac Powell, Bastyr University

Scott Bierman, Beloit College

Mariko Silver, Bennington College

David C. Joyce, Brevard College

Kimberly Wright Cassidy, Bryn Mawr College

Nancy Blattner, Caldwell University

Donald J. Laackman, Champlain College

Frank G. Pogue, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (interim president)

David McInally, Coe College

Brian W. Casey, Colgate University

Helen J. Streubert, College of Saint Elizabeth

Reverend Philip L. Boroughs, College of the Holy Cross

Jonathan Brand, Cornell College

Jann Weitzel, Cottey College

Carol Quillen, Davidson College

Mark McCoy, DePauw University

Walter M. Kimbrough, Dillard University

MaryAnn Baenninger, Drew University

Donald Eastman, Eckerd College

Carl J. Strikwerda, Elizabethtown College

Jake B. Schrum, Emory & Henry College

James A. Anderson, Fayetteville State University

  1. Michael Pressimone, Fontbonne University

Daniel Porterfield, Franklin & Marshall College

Elizabeth Davis, Furman University

Janet Morgan Riggs, Gettysburg College

Robert Kenny, Goddard College

Mark Scheinberg, Goodwin College

Jose Antonio Bowen, Goucher College

Raynard S. Kington, Grinnell College

Jane K. Fernandes, Guilford College

Rebecca M. Bergman, Gustavus Adolphus College

John J. “Ski” Sygielski, HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

Margaret L. Drugovich, Hartwick College

Kimberly Benston, Haverford College

Lori Varlotta, Hiram College

Mark D. Gearan, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Andrea Chapdelaine, Hood College

Shirley A. Mullen, Houghton College

Lisa A. Rossbacher, Humboldt State University

Alison Byerly, Lafayette College

Dan McAlexander, LaGrange College

Michael B. Alexander, Lasell College

Mark Burstein, Lawrence University

Barry Glassner, Lewis & Clark College

Richard Green, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

Reverend Brian F. Linnane, Loyola University Maryland

Kenneth R. Garren, Lynchburg College

Brian Rosenberg, Macalester College

Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine College of Art

James Gandre, Manhattan School of Music

Kevin F. F. Quigley, Marlboro College

Kerry Walk, Marymount Manhattan College

Laurie Patton, Middlebury College

Bryon Grigsby, Moravian College

John Silvanus Wilson Jr., Morehouse College

David Wilson, Morgan State University

Stanley J. Pritchett Sr., Morris Brown College

Sonya Stephens, Mount Holyoke College (acting president)

Timothy E. Trainor, Mount St. Mary’s University

John I. Williams Jr., Muhlenberg College

Kent Devereaux, New Hampshire Institute of Art

Richard Helldobler, Northeastern Illinois University (interim president)

Lawrence Schall, Oglethorpe University

David W. Oxtoby, Pomona College

Debbie Sydow, Richard Bland College

Allan Cahoon, Royal Roads University

Rachel Schreiber, San Francisco Art Institute (interim president)

Karen R. Lawrence, Sarah Lawrence College

Tracy Fitzsimmons, Shenandoah University

Susan E. Henking, Shimer College

Peg Albert, Siena Heights University

Joe Bertolino, Southern Connecticut State University

David Rees Evans, Southern Vermont College

Edward B. Burger, Southwestern University

John A. Pieper, St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Kevin J. Manning, Stevenson University

Valerie Smith, Swarthmore College

Susan C. Scrimshaw, the Sage Colleges

John M. McCardell Jr., the University of the South

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Trinity College (Connecticut)

Stephen C. Ainlay, Union College (New York)

Thomas W. Keefe, University of Dallas

Quint Thurman, University of the Southwest

Jonathan Chenette, Vassar College (interim president)

Thomas Christopher Greene, Vermont College of Fine Arts

Scott D. Miller, Virginia Wesleyan College

Weymouth Spence, Washington Adventist University

Joseph Kline, Watkins College

Jonathan Gibralter, Wells College

Michael S. Roth, Wesleyan University

Dennis Hanno, Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

David J. Chard, Wheelock College

Sharon Herzberger, Whittier College

Stephen E. Thorsett, Willamette University

Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, William Jewell College

Adam Falk, Williams College

Barbara K. Mistick, Wilson College

Elizabeth Kiss, Agnes Scott College

Lex O. McMillan III, Albright College

Debora L. Spar, Barnard College

Clayton Spencer, Bates College

Clayton S. Rose, Bowdoin College

John Bravman, Bucknell University

Elaine J. Copeland, Clinton College

Harry Lee Williams, Delaware State University

Adam Weinberg, Denison University

David Dawson, Earlham College

Sean Decatur, Kenyon College

Teresa Amott, Knox College

Marvin Krislov, Oberlin College

John R. Kroger, Reed College

Donald J. Farish, Roger Williams University

Janice A. Cervelli, Saint Mary’s College (Indiana)

Lara Tiedens, Scripps College

Matthew Derr, Sterling College

Jay Lemons, Susquehanna University

Presidents and Chancellors Added on Monday:

Neil Kerwin, American University

Lyle D. Roelofs, Berea College

Michelle J. Anderson, Brooklyn College

Alice Hunt, Chicago Theological Seminary

David Angel, Clark University

Katherine Bergeron, Connecticut College

Neil Weissman, Dickinson College (interim)

Katrina S. Rogers, Fielding Graduate University

Roslyn Clark Artis, Florida Memorial University

Fayneese Miller, Hamline University

Stuart Rabinowitz, Hofstra University

John C. Knapp, Hope College

Thomas R. Rochon, Ithaca College

Stephen D. Schutt, Lake Forest College

Michael A. Grandillo, Madonna University

David Yellen, Marist College

Jonathan Veitch, Occidental College

William E. Troutt, Rhodes College

Philip A. Glotzbach, Skidmore College

Kathleen McCartney, Smith College

Sarah Bolton, the College of Wooster

Danny Anderson, Trinity University

Patricia McGuire, Trinity Washington University

Anthony Monaco, Tufts University

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, UMBC

David Yager, University of the Arts

Steven L. Solnick, Warren Wilson College

Kenneth P. Ruscio, Washington and Lee University

Michelle D. Jones, Wayfinding Academy

Paula A. Johnson, Wellesley College

Kathleen M. Murray, Whitman College

Nayef Samhat, Wofford College

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About Sheridan C. Watkins

From sneaking to read “Goosebumps” under my covers (when I should’ve been sleep) as a child to writing and reporting news for my college newspaper, I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing. And when a motivated reader and writer interconnects inspiring words with awareness, changes can happen! I’ve always believed it’s important to stay up-to-date on everything happening around us. Locally, nationally, and internationally. News is its own butterfly effect, and ignorance is not bliss. I achieved my degree in journalism and English from THE Winston-Salem State University in 2016. And even beyond my college career, I make it a point to sustain as much new knowledge as I can take, write about it and share it with those who will benefit from it most. Sometimes, people don’t know what they need to know until they know it (if that makes sense). And that’s O.K. That’s what I’m here for—to share my knowledge and make my readers aware!


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