President’s Message to the Community: Nov. 14

Dear UMaine Community:

Now that the 2016 elections have concluded, as a community and as a nation we are left to heal the division and discord that hallmarked the last 18 months. Since the election, we have interacted with hundreds of UMaine students who were solely focused on unity, compassion, diversity and commitment to the high ideals of a loving community.

Faculty, the Division of Student Life, the Rainbow Resource Center, the Counseling Center, the Office of International Programs, the Multicultural Center, and individuals across campus have engaged in many open, honest dialogues about the future, and welcomed lots of students into conversations about what changes in the government mean for us going forward. The great takeaway from these conversations is that everyone wants to continue to work toward a healthy democracy and a united front, where dignity and compassion for all is the ethos by which we live.

While horrendous acts of hate have occurred across the country, and we know people are experiencing anxiety and fear within our community, we all, including the UMaine police, unequivocally stand together and assure that harassment or intimidation of any sort will not be tolerated. We are a community of scholars, and civil discourse defines us. We ask that differences of opinion or of political philosophy be open and honestly discussed in ways that are respectful and caring, and that the divisive rhetoric of the recent campaign be left behind.

If you see illegal, abusive or incivil behavior, please say something to the UMaine Police Department at 581.4040 or to the Dean of Students Office at 581.1406. These concerns will be addressed immediately.

Our policies and our focus on inclusion and compassion ARE NOT changing. We are not retreating here at UMaine. Our conduct code is durable and our expectations around matters of diversity, student support, and safety are only reinforced in this time of change. Community members may call the UMaine PD if they feel unsafe. They may also call and visit Student Life offices, the Graduate School, the Rainbow Resource Center, Office of International Programs, the Multicultural Center, the Office of Equal Opportunity, or Human Resources.

UMaine is a safe, loving and diverse community, where partnership and communication are highly held ideals. This reality endures.

Sincerely,

Dr. Susan J. Hunter, President
Dr. Robert Q. Dana, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Dr. Jeffrey E. Hecker, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Dr. Carol H. Kim, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School