A freakout at CU Boulder (with Comments From Steve and Paul)

The hits just keep on coming, this one from the Office of the Chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder. Can you top this? The bullet points alone give us wisdom to live by. You may want to print this out and post it on your refrigerator with a Save the Earth or If we all had a bong, we’d all get along magnet:

Dear CU Boulder community:

As a nation, we have just finished a particularly stressful national election cycle. I want to acknowledge that our campus is not alone in experiencing and witnessing a wide range of reactions today, from joy, to fear, to sadness, to sheer exhaustion. I’d like to share how proud I am of our entire campus community for hosting political speakers and events as well as engaging in respectful dialogue across campus during this election cycle. While we are not perfect or error-free, as a community we must remain committed to the values contained in our Colorado Creed.

You may find yourself with friends, classmates or colleagues who do not share the same reactions as you. These interactions may evoke strong emotions that can quickly intensify. In some cases, you, or others close to you, may feel you are experiencing or witnessing negative treatment or more subtle forms of oppression, perhaps related to the election or perhaps because of your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, country of origin, political thought or other aspect of your identity. At CU Boulder, we respect and protect all of these expressions of identity on our campus.

In every case, we are here to listen, engage and support one another. If you are struggling with the personal impact of this stressful time in any way, we have resources available to you. The campus provides safe spaces for discussions on identity, empowerment, intercultural competency and the impact of the election.

This is a highly stressful time of year on the campus and for the nation at the end of this election. We recommend several strategies to care for yourself and to help you remain productive throughout the semester, including:

• Acknowledge your feelings — check your emotional state before you engage in conversations. Are you in a space to dialogue?

• Focus on tasks or events that are in your control.

• Connect with friends, family, a community or a safe space to ground and support you.

• Focus on the present and shift away from the future.

• Monitor your social media use — check your reactions before and after taking in information and set time limits.

• Opt out of unproductive conversations — pay attention to whether the discussion is going to benefit anyone or just increase stress levels.

• Take care of basic needs such as eating, sleeping and drinking water. Incorporate activities that recharge and relax you.

Thank you for your engagement and investment in our national election process, and thank you for being part of our vibrant campus community,

Sincerely,

Philip P. DiStefano
Chancellor

STEVE adds: I’m actually on the Boulder campus right now, shortly ahead of speaking at the law school at noon (which may be . . . interesting. . . Especially since I’m going to attribute Trump’s triumph to decadent liberalism. So if you think CU Boulder is freaking out now, just wait about 90 minutes. Yes, I wore a flak jacket. I’ll try to post some of my remarks later along with reaction).

I saw this note from Chancellor DiStefano last night. I don’t want to speak ill of DiStefano directly; he is a very nice man and who was unfailingly friendly and supportive of me during my year as an inmate here. I did have the sense throughout, though, that he does not have a profound grasp of the philosophical crisis of the modern university, partly because he doesn’t come from one of the academic fields that advance the rot. (His background in in K-12 education I think, but that’s a different matter.) This marks him out as belonging to the large class of university administrators who much of the time proceed largely in mere survival mode, trying to muddle through the madness and keep things under control best they can. Not that we shouldn’t pine for someone more robust like Sam Hayakawa.

PAUL adds: I wish I had had the benefit of all this counseling when Romney lost to Obama four years ago.

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