To Members of the Washington University Community:
Last night was a tumultuous night for St. Louis. The violence and destruction that occurred in the wake of the grand jury announcement was very disappointing. Tragically, it overpowered the efforts of so many who were committed to peacefully expressing themselves.
We are fortunate the unrest has not affected our campuses and adjacent areas. Sadly, the same is not true for the business owners and those who live in areas where there has been violence and destruction. Their wounds are deep and our hearts go out to them.
The challenges we face as a region are real and tremendously difficult. It is my hope that, together, we channel our pain and frustration into the pursuit of a constructive, peaceful path forward for the region we share and love.
Right now, it is necessary that we keep attention focused on ensuring the safety of our students, faculty and staff. I am relieved that no one in our community has been hurt. We will reopen our West Campus in downtown Clayton tomorrow Wednesday, Nov. 26. At this time, we plan to resume normal operations of the university after the Thanksgiving holiday. However, we continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate if there is a change in our plans for Monday, Dec. 1.
Last night and today, hundreds of our students participated in events on- and off-campus to demonstrate concern, thoughtfully contributing to the public response to the announcement. Our Center for Social Justice and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion continue to offer opportunities for students, faculty and staff to come together, talk and share ideas about the issues. Information about events can be found here.
Updates and helpful information, particularly for students traveling home for the holiday, can be found here.
This is a time when the university must make a meaningful difference and help bring about necessary change in the region. The knowledge, passion and commitment of our students, faculty and staff are needed now, more than ever.
I wish the entire Washington University community a restful Thanksgiving weekend.
Mark S. Wrighton