Message from the Honors College Deans on the Violence at the US Capitol (January 7, 2021)

Dear Honors College Community,

Yesterday we witnessed a direct assault on our nation's foundation. Not only did this attack disrupt the regular functioning of our flawed, yet enduring democracy, but it was particularly disheartening to see gross differences in response to yesterday’s violence in contrast to peaceful protests addressing centuries of racial injustice over the past year.

This violence also violates the core values of Rutgers University as a beloved community and repudiates the mission of our Honors College—a respect for difference of opinions, an openness to and curiosity about the diversity of humankind, an acknowledgment of historical inequities, a commitment to acquiring the best knowledge possible, and a purposeful focus on the good of the entire community, whether that is in our neighborhood, the nation, or the world.

At the very least, yesterday's events emphasize that words have an impact and that leadership matters. The inflamed political rhetoric of recent years undermines the basic level of respect needed for us to engage in the difficult conversations—and debates—that we should and must have. These events stir anger, frustration, confusion, and hurt; but they should also lead us to summon our best selves, to engage in the hard work of expanding our circle of empathy, to truly listen even as we use our critical and analytical skills to come to an understanding of each other and the challenges we face.

As we move into a new semester and a new year, we affirm our commitment to transforming our community from the inside out. We encourage you to join your fellow students, Honors College administration, and our campus partners in our shared work through civil discourse and action as we continue to pursue the ideal of an inclusive community that embraces the diversity of perspectives and experiences.

This afternoon, Shan Reeves from CAPS and HC student affairs staff will be hosting a processing space from 3:00-5:00 pm.

As always, we encourage you to be in touch with us. 

Your Deans,

Matt Matsuda          Paul Gilmore
Academic Dean        Administrative Dean