Dear Campus Community,

As I prepare to leave Ship, I look back on my time here and think about what we have experienced together. I brought with me the belief that kindness would make a difference in what we do. You may remember, I started my tenure with a celebration of kindness, and I have tried to carry that through.

I acknowledge though that kindness, in a time marked with such discomfort, does not always resonate as positive. We have lived through arguably the most trying year of our era. Yes, the pandemic marked global suffering and misery, but our culture has spent a year of turmoil as much-delayed attention to social injustice in our society has taken on urgency and has captured the national consciousness. As light has begun to shine into the corners where long-established systems of oppression that uphold racism and injustice unrest has intensified and it has been painful.

And just as we see signs of hope from the impact of the pandemic, we are again holding our breath as we await the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. When the verdict does come, regardless of what it is, the country will react and many of you will be faced with emotion. Our campus community is prepared to support you in that emotion. The Counseling Center, Multicultural Student Affairs, Student Life and Residence Life are providing support for students feeling anxious, angry or disheartened. Dr. Jirard is planning a vigil for the community to come together to express our thoughts and support one another.

Now more than ever is the time for Shippensburg University to stand in unity against hate, racial injustice and violence.

Laurie A. Carter