A Response to the Violence in Washington, D.C.

A Message From President Kesselman

President Kesselman urges respect, commitment to democracy

To the Stockton Community,

Like many of you, I watched with sadness and dismay the chaos and vandalism at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

The threat to our Capitol Building, and the people within it, demonstrated the need to rebuild our country’s commitment to democratic governance. Every four years we, as citizens, celebrate or concede the results of the presidential election, and it is a tribute to our belief in the Constitution and the process of democracy that we accept the results and support a peaceful transition of power.

It is crucial to remember that good governing does not happen through broken windows and vandalized offices. A democracy succeeds when people who disagree sit down and work out their differences, and work toward compromise.

The eyes of the world were on the United States yesterday, and we should be deeply disappointed and concerned about what they saw. In the end, Congress reconvened and democracy prevailed, but it is up to us to learn from this terrible lesson and remain committed to the democratic process, even when we do not like the results. A government run on anger and resentment cannot successfully lead a country, especially one still reeling under a pandemic.

As we prepare for a new semester at Stockton, I urge us all to respect different views and listen to each other. As a University, we support and encourage debate, engagement and protest as part of the democratic process but recognize that such actions are only productive if they are also civil and peaceful. I am confident that, if we embrace this as our goal, we will thrive.

Best regards,

Harvey Kesselman
Stockton University