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Moving Forward in Community – July 2016

Dear NC State Students, Faculty and Staff:

Too many times in the past two years we’ve faced the unhappy necessity of reaching out to the NC State community in response to local, national and international violence. Unfortunately, this letter comes at just such a time.

The tragic events of the past week have again sent pain and division through our nation and left many people across the country, and here at NC State, understandably feeling hurt and vulnerable.

In the aftermath, we’ve witnessed both peaceful and violent demonstrations. This year’s presidential election is also raising additional uncertainty.  While we cannot ultimately control what happens nationally, we can all work hard on campus to ensure NC State always remains an open, safe and respectful environment.

At this time and always, it is important to reiterate the critical importance of diversity and inclusion at NC State, and the expectation that all in our community will be treated civilly and respectfully.

It is also important to remind members of our community about the counseling and support services available to any and everyone who is hurting or in need of support. Our Counseling Center is available for students 24-hours-a-day and can be reached at 919.515.2423. Counselors are also available for faculty and staff by contacting the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Counseling services can be accessed 24-hours-a-day by calling 866.467.0467, or using online resources at (webID: fasap).

What we can provide in addition is perspective and expectation about NC State’s direction.

As we’ve addressed painful issues over the past few years, including those surrounding race relations and campus climate, we’ve done so as a community. There is something special about the Wolfpack family and truth in the famous Kipling quote: “For the strength of the pack is the wolf. And the strength of the wolf is the pack.” There is power in community, and in our NC State community in particular.

We are fortunate to have a campus culture that encourages and supports the expression of differing thoughts and opinions in a respectful and safe environment; a community not afraid to engage in hard conversations. As a university dedicated to educating future leaders, we have a responsibility to foster dialogue and lead change that will help ensure a just and civil society.

Unlike what we often see happening around the nation where these difficult issues are divisive, we must build on our culture and sense of community and come together through tragedy to take positive steps forward toward solutions. We must look for common ground and display empathy. We must always strive to unite in respect and support of one another, with the goal of solving problems and making progress.

Together, students, faculty and staff have worked over the past year to address these real and difficult issues on campus. We’ve made progress and we are committed to this effort going forward.

It’s on each of us to ensure everyone at NC State feels valued and is treated with dignity and respect. Working together, we can continue to make a difference on our campus, and that difference will echo into the world around us.


Randy Woodson