Dear Harvard College Students,
In the time I have been a member of the Harvard College community, what I have come to most value—both in times of agreement and discord—is our capacity to work together, reason together, and empathize with each other.
I know that many of you are processing the election results in different ways. While each election has winners and losers, this election has been particularly difficult and divisive. I don’t know the full spectrum of our community’s political views, but I know there are students who are worried about what this election means for themselves, their families, and their friends. I also know there are others who genuinely see this election as a moment of positive change for our country. In spite of our differences, we can only move forward as friends, neighbors, and classmates if we develop the capacity to understand and empathize with each other, and if we learn how to find common ground.
Now that the election is over, I want to encourage our community to look ahead and ask ourselves what part we want to play in our country’s next chapter. I hope we will take this opportunity to come together as a community and focus on our strengths and aspirations—and how we can best support each other. Already, I have heard from colleagues that many of you are engaging in thoughtful conversations about the election results and your hopes for Harvard’s and our nation’s future.
As you reflect on the results of the election, I would like to hear your thoughts. On Friday, I will be hosting an open Dean’s Office from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for any member of our student community to come speak with me. The lower door of the Tercentenary entrance of University Hall will remain open to students who wish to attend these office hours. Additionally, I am always reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org. Others from the College are already reaching out to our student community and convening student groups and discussions.
I look forward to hearing from you in the coming days.