Message from the Vice President: Reflections on the Events of Yesterday

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Thursday, January 7, 2021

The following message was sent to Division of Student Affairs staff from Vice President Patty Perillo on January 7, 2021.

Dear Student Affairs Colleagues,

Last night President Pines tweeted the following on social media:

"Today, we saw violence, chaos, and dangerous disregard for the rule of law in our nation’s capital, less than 10 miles from our campus. I hope every member of our UMD community is safe. We are monitoring the situation closely, as many of our neighbors are under curfew. Even as we come to grips with the attack we witnessed today, I believe in the resiliency of our democracy. Stay safe.”

His words, concerns, and hopes resonated with me, so I retweeted his message.

I’ve continued to think of you, my DSA colleagues, as you likely woke up this morning carrying with you fear, outrage, disbelief, concerns, and/or hope for a better way forward. Like me, you are likely still processing it all. I also know that, like me, you condemn the violence we witnessed yesterday. I trust that you, too, noticed the differential treatment of rioters yesterday and those who previously protested for racial equity. As this can be traumatic for many, particularly those who have lived experiences with racial violence, I encourage you to find a safe emotional space for yourself. Please consider connecting with your communities of support if you haven’t already done so.

Times such as these call us to be in community with each other. To offer a space to gather and reflect, Dr. Chetan Joshi, Dr. Adam Younoszai, and Ms. Malia Witherspoon will hold community space tomorrow, Friday, January 8, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. If you are interested in joining, please RSVP here.

Yesterday’s events underscore the important and necessary work we are doing on our campus to support our students’ civic engagement, for they are our future leaders. It also further emphasizes and emboldens our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

You are not alone. There are resources to support you. Join the community gathering tomorrow if that is helpful to you. Like President Pines, I continue to believe in the resiliency of our democracy and our community. We will get through this together and emerge stronger. 

I stand with you,

Patty Perillo, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

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