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A Message from President Henry

Dear Campus Community,

My office has been made aware of a few incidents over the past week that have caused concern among our campus community. Some of these incidents have occurred on our campus, and some have occurred elsewhere. Our university environment cannot be a place for the marginalization of any group. The diversity of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, identity, religious affiliation and political thought we enjoy as a community demands that we stand united to protect and value each other in controversial times.

The presidential election of last week is on many minds and still a topic on our campus. Just as a University campus should be, OCU is a place where you will find people who share your opinions and ideas and people who challenge your opinions and ideas. Oklahoma City University strives to be the type of educational institution that provides students, faculty, and staff the safe space to engage in civil discourse on diverse viewpoints and perspectives. It is important to the fostering of critical thought and growth to promote civil discussion of the many complex issues facing our Nation and our communities.

But in our discussions and expressions, we must be kind, and we must be civil. As a community, we must respect each other and allow for the peaceful and orderly exchange of information and ideas, just as we allow and expect a peaceful and orderly change of power in Washington. Our student code of conduct calls for personal responsibility, sound judgment, and mutual respect. These values are founded in our traditions and our university legacy. I urge you to remember your responsibilities as members of the OCU family as you interact with each other and with those in the world around you.

The university will host a community conversation at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Kerr McGee Auditorium prior to the OCU Talks panel discussion. The conversation will explore the social aspects related to the presidential election and will be led by university administrators.

Oklahoma City University has no tolerance for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or violence. The policy can be found here. Any reported violations will be swiftly and thoroughly investigated by our Compliance Coordinator.

Anonymous reports can be made to the university’s hotline by calling 866-943-5787.

There was one other time in our nation when disagreements were even sharper and more divisive than today, turning a country eventually to a civil war. The President who won re-election of that even more divided nation urged that we move forward “with malice toward none, and with charity for all….” This is again a time to forego malice and embrace charity. Let’s work to eradicate fear and manage disagreement, and come together to obtain the kind of education that allows a better world, and is, indeed, the only way to have one.

Robert Henry

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