November 10, 2016
Members of the Marietta College Community: 

I write to you today at the conclusion of the presidential election cycle, with full confidence in the American electoral process. The transfer of power in the United States has been peaceful for more than 240 years, and I assure you, it will be this time as well. 

The outcome of yesterday's election will mean different things to different members of the campus community, and those meanings will continue to develop and change in the coming weeks and months. I want to take this opportunity to encourage every member of the Marietta College community to embrace the opportunity provided by the rich and valuable variety of viewpoints that this presidential transition implies. As we engage in deep and meaningful discussions with one another, we can listen, learn, and more fully understand the complexities of the Marietta College community as a microcosm of broader society. 

I will reiterate here some points I made in an e-mail I sent out earlier this semester. Each of us has a unique background and we have had experiences based on those backgrounds that impact how we view events and how we see ourselves in them. Therefore, while our experiences with these events are different, they are each very real and valid. Recognizing this, we can leverage the wealth of our collective experiences and viewpoints by being active and empathetic leaders and listeners. We are very fortunate to have a diverse campus community, and if we assume good will and good intentions of one another, our diversity can serve as a strength for learning and growth, both individually and as a community. 

If you're a student seeking opportunities to discuss the election privately with a campus resource, you can contact the Center for Health and Wellness (740-376-4477) to schedule an appointment with a member of the counseling staff. If you're a residential student, feel free to contact the Community Living staff member responsible for your hall, or you can also speak with your CA. If you're a commuter student, you can contact Tiffany Green in the Office of Community Living (110 Andrews Hall, 740-376-3484). Also feel comfortable reaching out to any other College faculty or staff member with whom you've developed a good relationship. Faculty and staff are encouraged to tap into their personal and professional networks to engage in discussions as needed. 

Again, I encourage you to embrace a spirit of positive and respectful engagement with other members of our campus community. Because this benefits us all by increasing our knowledge and understanding, it also creates and sustains a community where everyone feels valued and included. My sincere thanks to each and every person who is part of our campus for making Marietta College a place where we can all work together to support, encourage, and learn from one another as we continue to grow in wisdom and mutual understanding. 


Bill Ruud