From the Desk of the President
To the York College Community:
I watched yesterday’s acts of violence at our nation’s Capitol with disbelief at first, then with shock, and ultimately, sadness. The right to protest and peacefully assemble is one of the most important tenets of our democracy, guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Violence is never acceptable or appropriate, regardless of who perpetrates the violence.
The Constitution also provides for free and open elections, a process intended to provide leadership representative of “the people.” The Preamble to the Constitution begins with “We the People.” It does not refer to a group of individuals, but rather to the collective “We,” all citizens as one body. The right to vote – so that the collective “We” chooses its leadership – is at the core of our Constitution. The right to vote must be protected for all, and the process cannot succumb to the interest of a particular group. I commend the members of Congress, who recognized the significance of their duty and resumed proceedings to certify the results of the presidential election despite the events of the day.
I am grateful to the men and women who protected the Capitol and the people within carrying out the work of “the People.” I am saddened by the needless loss of life and property that occurred.
There are many challenges facing us as a nation: the ongoing struggle with the pandemic, homelessness, poverty, and social injustice. These challenges affect all of us, and the solutions require a concerted effort from each one of us.
During this time of great division and unrest, it is important that we relearn how to disagree with civility and reach consensus for the common good. I ask that you join me in renewing a commitment to model the level of civility we need to restore our country and resolve our issues.
Yesterday, seeing the People’s House under siege illustrated the fragility of our democracy. It cannot be taken for granted. We must work to preserve it.
Stay safe, take good care, and be kind to one another.
Pamela Gunter-Smith, Ph.D.