Tulsa, Oklahoma 2020-10-17 14:17:04 –
Dear TU community,
So far, we are very grateful to the resilience and teamwork of the TU community for paving the way for such a successful and safe semester as we approach the midpoint of the semester. The very high level of cooperation and respect for others seen throughout the campus during the COVID-19 pandemic is heartwarming as everyone works together to adapt and follow new protocols and procedures. Our community has acted responsibly. I admire the respect and support you have given me and continue to show each other. As a result, we are still on campus and well!
Our immediate challenge is to keep the trend going. Partying, abandonment of public health protocols, and other dangerous behaviors can turn liveliness into embarrassment and tragedy. Homecoming 2020 is very different from the previous year, but this weekend is a time of celebration and fun. But be careful that everyone keeps it that way.
We also strongly hope that we, in the midst of a turbulent political season, will continue to show the same level of compassion for others. This is an uneasy time for our community and for so many people in our country. We are witnessing national elections characterized by intense debate and deep division. Our country needs to truly unite to tackle the effects of this pandemic, which is always exacerbating racial injustice, financial difficulties, and these systematic challenges.
Gathering together does not mean that we must agree, but we need to be aware of the wide range of impacts our words and actions can have on others. I’m calling on everyone at TU to pause and reflect. Class stress and other pressures, combined with concerns about our society and democracy, can influence our better decisions. Even if our beliefs are not always in agreement, we need to give each other grace and treat each other with dignity.
The university must be an open space for free exchange of ideas. TU is a special place where people can feel at ease, participate in the discourse of citizens, challenge each other’s ideas and respect each other. I would like to continue that tradition this season as well.
To support that effort, Student Affairs creates many opportunities to address and discuss important and topical issues. For more information on these activities, please see TU’s event calendar. Stay tuned for updates and follow the university on social media.
You can also interact directly with me at one of the weekly virtual coffee hours. For students, we meet and talk every Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Coffee time is limited to 6 people to get everyone involved and deepen the conversation. To participate, simply sign up at utulsa.edu / president-meetings. Faculty and staff can sign up for Virtual Morning Coffee Chat here.
We also encourage all members of the TU community to participate in voting, which is our most important citizen’s duty. Be informed about candidates and issues, vote and support the democratic process. To be on the safe side, all TU staff can work up to 4 hours apart on election day to accommodate voting waits.
In these turbulent times, I am convinced that TU will be a model for public participation and public debate. Joining the TU community makes you part of something bigger than you. Your kind demonstration of dignity and respect when you interact with others will be a positive example for all of us in words and actions.
Janet K. Revit