November 9, 2016

To the Trinity College Community,

Yesterday, the nation participated in an important democratic process as the population voted to elect the next president of the United States. We have a civic duty to respect this process, yet we need not accept the divisiveness and incivility that this election cycle has brought to our nation and to our world. This campaign season has presented unprecedented polarization, derogatory rhetoric, and hurt to many individuals and to our community.

Some members of our community are pleased with the election outcomes, while others awoke today with a deep sense of fear and uncertainty. Questions remain about what the election outcomes will mean for many of the people, places, and ideas that each of us holds dear. As a scholarly community that relies on the well-being of all of our members, we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to model a civil and respectful environment. Whatever our personal political opinions may be, we ask that all of us be mindful of the various challenges that this election presents to classmates and to colleagues and extend care and regard for each other.

We at Trinity College will continue in our commitment to build and sustain a welcoming and affirming community for persons of all races, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, and gender identities. We will continue to recruit, promote, and support diversity within our student body, faculty, and staff while maintaining a strong commitment to a broad liberal arts curriculum and to rigorous intellectual discourse. Our institutional priorities regarding equity, inclusion, and diversity will not change in light of election outcomes. We hope to do all that we can to reassure those who feel especially alienated by the election outcomes that our commitment to them has not changed.

We know that many of you are seeking opportunities for conversation and support at this time. Please note the following opportunities to gather to reflect and to tend to each other over the next few days:

  • Today, from 3:00–5:00 p.m., the Underground Coffee House (Mather basement) will welcome anyone who wishes to stop by in an informal, supportive setting.
  • ​Tomorrow, during Common Hour (12:15–1:30 p.m.), we will have another informal gathering for the College community in the Rittenberg Lounge (Mather Hall, second floor).

Additionally, our Counseling Center, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), chaplains, deans of students, and deans of the faculty are all available to those who need any assistance.

The days ahead will be challenging for our nation and for our College, but within these challenges, Trinity College has the opportunity to reaffirm the community we wish to be. This is a place where each of you is important and critical to our mission and to our work. Most importantly, this is a place where you are welcome and where you belong.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience

Christopher D. Card
Dean of Students

Tim Cresswell
Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Joe DiChristina
Dean of Campus Life and Vice President for Student Affairs

Robert Lukaskiewicz
Associate Dean of Students

Allison Read
College Chaplain

Ann Reuman
Senior Associate Dean of Students

Karla Spurlock-Evans
Dean of Multicultural Affairs