A freakout at Oglethorpe

The campus freakouts continue. Here Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall bares his deep thoughts on the election of Donald Trump. Message: I am a brave and virtuous man, if I do say so myself — and my views line up with those of newspaper editorial boards around the United States:

From: Schall, Lawrence
Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2016 10:58 AM
To: Faculty (All); Staff
Subject: FW: Important Meeting Tonight

To our faculty and staff:

I wanted to share this note I sent to our students today. If you are able, I’d love to see you join us tonight. Larry

From: Schall, Lawrence
Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2016 10:56 AM
To: Allstudents
Cc: President’s Cabinet; Palder, Amy; Pruitt, Shane
Subject: Important Meeting Tonight

To our students:

Dean Hall and I invite each of you to join us this evening (Wednesday, November 9) in the TLCC dining hall at eight p.m. for a conversation about the election last evening. I know that members of our community have differing political and social views. I know some of you cast your vote yesterday for Donald Trump, others voted for Secretary Clinton or another candidate, and there were some of you who chose not to vote at all. I also know there are members of our community who were not able to vote, because of their citizenship status or because of a criminal record. I encourage all of you to come.

As a president of a university, who in some ways represents all constituents, I fully realize that expressing personal or political views will be viewed by some as inappropriate. I encountered this perspective a few years back when I chose to speak out on the issue of gun safety after the massacre at Sandy Hook. I have no regrets at all about that decision. I felt then and I feel now that on certain issues at certain times in our history, the failure to speak out is far more dangerous than keeping silent. Today, for me, is another one of those times. And again, as I did on the gun safety issues, I want to be clear that I express my views first as a citizen of this country.

I still find it difficult this morning to believe that the majority of voters in our country chose to elect a man whose views on civility and inclusivity are so at odds with mine and with the values of our Oglethorpe community. This morning, I can manage to get past his inexperience and lack of public service even though virtually every editorial page in the country, left or right leaning, failed to endorse him because of those traits. What I cannot get past, and I will refuse to overlook, is a future of America that is divided by race, religion, sexual identity, and country of origin.

I look forward to seeing you tonight.

President Schall

Responses