Addressing the Community

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To the Stetson community:

With the current state of the country, community, and campus we felt that it was important to release a statement highlighting our unique opportunity as a community here at Stetson.

The unique opportunity we’re speaking of is our ability to meet face to face, create a healthy dialogue, and understand the thoughts of our other students. With a campus of 3,000 students we are able to foster intelligent debate and reach a level understanding that may not lead to agreement but it should lead to learning why people feel the way they feel, vote the way they vote, or think the way they think.

With that being said, we have not lived up to the expectations that we strive for. We have been facing hateful rhetoric and hateful actions. Our actions are echoing the actions of other parts of our country. Actions we do not support and we will not tolerate. We have abused each other, some physically, some verbally, and some mentally. We have categorized and generalized people by their race, religion, voter registration, and by other aspects. We have lost track of who our friends are, who our colleagues are, and who we are. We must rise above this. We have to remember our values. We must keep daring to be significant.

We must be the student leaders that we know we can be. We must be the ones who kindly let any perpetrators know that is not the Stetson culture and report any such incidents. Please remember to use all of our resources. The counseling center, the Cross Cultural Center, and even other students. Our “report” link (www.stetson.edu/reportit) is also an essential resource for students who wish to report actions and remain anonymous.

This was obviously a very contentious election and although our students share different backgrounds, different identities, and different views, we do share a common factor: we are hatters. We have chosen to attend a university in which we can challenge ourselves and lead the way for the future. We share values with an institution of higher learning and must embrace the differences mentioned in order to rise above this.

No matter our views. No matter our identity. We are hatters. We are humans.

Together, we will move forward and make this community stronger.

Jeffery Hahn, SGA President
Alyssa Morley, SGA Vice President
David DiGioacchino, SGA Secretary of Communications
Patricia Medina, Chair of Diversity and Inclusion