To The MCAD Community,
We are living in a time of stark differences--whether it be our values or our political stance. As the President made his speech Tuesday night the divide in our country was apparent in the Halls of Congress. As laws and directives in Washington are announced, we may feel our life choices, livelihoods, and even our lives may be at stake.
The present day reminds me of my college days during the height of the Vietnam War and in the heat of the Civil Rights movement. Those were the major challenges of our time, completely absorbing the nation and in particular, gripping the lives of students across the nation. Americans, including students, had varying views of these issues and, at times, things became emotional and tense. In many respects, those underlying issues and tensions still characterize the challenges of Americans today, and the MCAD community is no different. All of us at MCAD intersect with issues of great importance to our lives. As we watch the news, we realize we are affected by these challenges and we need to choose our own responses.
A set of values guides our collective understanding at MCAD. These values are intended to support us in our decision-making and focus us in the creation of an educational environment that supports all people, whether students, faculty, or staff.
I want to draw your attention to one of these values.
We maintain the strength of our community through respect, diversity, communication, openness, and accountability.
To work as a community we must be respectful in our communications with each other. We need to understand and value our diversity and be accountable for our actions. These values are critically important to support the best type of community that MCAD can be. We should respect that all students, faculty and staff need to feel the environment that we live and work in at MCAD is a safe place. I want to assure you that the administration of the college supports creating a safe and welcoming educational environment. If for any reason you have any concerns about bodily harm or other physical threats please contact Public Safety as they are on call 24/7.
We are not a monolithic community--in social, political or cultural values. It may seem that way at times, but if you scratch the surface you will see that our backgrounds, our life experiences, and our choices reveal a very diverse community.
With diverse perspectives come challenges, in and outside of the classroom. As artists, educators, and citizens, we articulate our views through our discourse, our writing, and our artwork. While we may find ourselves at odds with each other, we should use discourse to bridge the distance and not use threats or labels to vilify one another.
As an institution of higher learning, MCAD gives all ideas and political positions a voice as well as critical examination. Like other post-secondary institutions, MCAD offers a marketplace of ideas, perspectives and political leanings. Listening to and respecting opinions that differ from your own is part of the educational experience here at MCAD. Engaging in respectful discussion is fundamental for a community of artists, scholars, and learners. As you enter the workforce, you will have to live and work with others whose views are different from yours. Through active civic engagement we can learn from each other and we will all be better for it.