Post Election letter to USC Community

Note: The following message was jointly issued by USC Provost Michael Quick, USC Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry, and USC Dean of Religious Life Varun Soni.

November 10, 2016

To the USC Community:

This week, we experienced the conclusion of a presidential campaign season that was extremely difficult and divisive for many Americans. Accordingly, the outcome of the election has left many in our university community feeling frightened, anxious, and concerned, not only about our national climate and political future, but also about the physical safety and emotional well-being of individuals and communities on our campus.

As members of a global Trojan Family, we belong to one of the most diverse communities the world has ever known. Given the fact that our community reflects such a profound pluralism of experiences, identities, perspectives, and beliefs, it is inevitable that we will sometimes face deep disagreements regarding fundamental issues. However, as a cherished community of scholars and artists, we have the unique opportunity and the shared responsibility to model how we engage, interrogate, and reconcile our differences with civility, respect, and empathy.

As Trojans, we affirm the dignity and self-worth of every member of our university community, and we aspire to live up to the values and ideals preserved in our Principles of Community. No one on our campus should feel in any way compromised on the basis of race, ethnicity, political identity, religious affiliation, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, or ability. Hateful and derogatory speech will not go unchallenged, and we will not tolerate abuse, threats, harassment, intimidation, or violence directed towards any member of our university community.

All of us are responsible for creating a university community of inclusion, equity, and justice. Part of that involves reporting bias and discrimination incidents when they happen, and encouraging and supporting those who are hesitant to do so. Indeed, we have already received complaints about bias and discrimination on campus after the election and we are currently investigating those cases and providing support to the students involved. The university hosts a website that provides information for reporting bias incidents and education on what can be classified as bias or hate incidents and crimes. Please note that incidents of bias and discrimination can also be reported through USC’s LiveSafe app. When we act in unity to combat such incidents, we send the strongest message that there is no place at USC for intolerance and bigotry.

We are pleased that over the last several days, hundreds of students have participated in public forums, panel discussions, counseling sessions, classroom conversations, and worship services on campus as a form of community and healing. These events and opportunities will continue throughout this semester and next semester so that we can continue to have campus conversations about our nation and our community. Please note that there are a number of support resources available for our university community, including Student Counseling Services, Student Support and Advocacy, Center for Work and Family Life, Office of Religious Life, LGBT Resource Center, El Centro Chicano, Asian Pacific American Student Services, and the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs.

Our university community is an inspiring community centered on our care and compassion for one another. Together, we can serve as a beacon of hope and possibility for our nation and our world by demonstrating how our differences are sources of strength and resilience for all of us.