Yesterday’s gathering by a large group of our students was an important expression of concern about very difficult and deep-seated challenges we face as a university community, region and country. Not only do we respect their right to organize in this way, but we also believe the sharing of perspectives is essential if we are going to be the kind of civil and just society we aspire to be.
We will be discussing the issues more directly when we meet with student organizers in January. Already, we know that there is much we agree on. We agree that recent events in St. Louis are tragic. We agree that, as a region, we must do better and be better and work toward a society in which all have the opportunity to thrive. We agree that far too many members of our broader St. Louis community struggle because of disparity and social injustice. We also agree that Washington University can help address these challenges and must be part of making the region stronger.
We have efforts already underway and are in conversation with community leaders about other ways to engage. This is a time when the university must make a meaningful difference and help bring about necessary change. The knowledge, passion and commitment of our students, faculty and staff are needed now, more than ever.