Supporting a safe campus environment for all

(President Schulz sent this message via email to WSU faculty, staff, and students November 14.)

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

With the U.S. election now nearly a week behind us, the last several days have been a time of reflection, a time of action, and a time during which many members of the Washington State University community have experienced an emotional roller-coaster.

Regardless of how you feel about the election results, I want to remind you that WSU embraces diversity, inclusion, and opportunity for all. The foundation of our university is built on those principles. We do not—and will not—tolerate expressions of hate, prejudice, or injustice.

As a university, we also respect differences of opinion about topics ranging from music and sports to favorite foods and fashion choices. We encourage debate and the exchange of ideas. It is a founding precept of our country and a core WSU value as well.

Open-mindedness and respect for each other extends to sensitive topics as well—including respect for differences of opinion about political and social issues. While emotions can and do run high during and after elections, it is especially important to maintain civility during these moments. In short, be respectful of the viewpoints of others. It’s the American—and the Cougar—way.

I have interacted during the past several days through social media, email, and in person with many faculty, staff, and students. Let me assure all of you—as your president, I will continue to show my strong support for students of color, undocumented students, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. We are unconditionally committed to creating and maintaining a learning environment where all students—regardless of race, gender, religion, or nationality—can learn in a safe environment conducive to success.

Since I arrived on campus in June, I have seen multiple examples of how the WSU family takes to heart the phrase, “Cougs help Cougs.” If you have a friend or a colleague who is struggling in the aftermath of the election, I encourage you to reach out. We have many resources across all of our campuses and friendly, talented people who can help.

I remain steadfast in my belief that our future is very bright at Washington State University. Please join me in demonstrating our unwavering support for diversity and inclusion in the weeks and months ahead.

Kirk Schulz, President

Washington State University