Statement from President Bergeron on Charlottesville

Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron issued the following statement:

The violence in Charlottesville and the national discourse over the past week have brought about grieving, introspection, and difficult discussions about the existence of hatred in this country and the still unfinished business of justice and equality. As these discussions continue, across the country and here on our campus, I want to reiterate to all members of the Connecticut College community that neo-Nazis, the KKK, white supremacists, or those who promote hate or violence against any individual or group are not welcome here.

This is not a question of freedom of speech; it is a rebuke of hatred and violence. I am not stating this merely as my own belief, although it is. The behaviors of such organizations and individuals fall far below the expectations we have for each other as members of the Connecticut College community.

We hold ourselves accountable through an Honor Code that establishes the highest possible standard for our community by espousing responsible citizenship in order to protect the core values of this College. We respect all members of our community and expect others to do the same. This is the pledge we renew each year:

"We will never, by any selfish or other unworthy act, dishonor this our College; individually and collectively we will foster her ideals and do our utmost to instill a respect in those among us who fail in their responsibility; unceasingly we will strive to quicken a general realization of our common duty and obligation to our College. And thus in manifold service we will render our Alma Mater greater, worthier, and more beautiful."

Please know that there are many people to whom you can turn if you feel unsafe or feel the need to talk. I encourage you to connect with Dean John McKnight and other professional staff members in the Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, who lead campus efforts to provide education, advocacy, and support for community members experiencing bias or discrimination of any kind.

As we go forward into our 107th year, do remember this: Our nation has always been and will continue to be a work-in-progress. And just as this College prides itself in developing creative, adaptive thinkers ready to tackle the world's most complex problems, I take great pride in knowing that the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Connecticut College stand ready to do their part in seeking solutions to our common challenges.

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August 16, 2017