To the WSU Community,
I know we all feel compelled to comment on recent events in Minnesota and our nation, but I feel that any words I try to muster in the face of such sadness and horror will be too paltry and too feeble to provide much comfort or meaning. So I am drawn to the words of our foreparents: words of those who founded this nation, words of those who built this University, and words we heard today.
Our nation was founded on the principle that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We’re entitled to life and to liberty and to pursuing happiness whether we are black or white, gay or straight, male or female, trans or cis, believers or non-believers, cafeteria managers or cigarette sellers or dance-club-goers or police officers.
I’m also drawn to the words of our mission written by our predecessors. Let’s learn from this, and thereby be a stronger and more interconnected community as a result. While that’s necessary, let’s not call it sufficient. Let’s take action to improve our world: peaceful action, wise action, but action that makes this a world where life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness are promises that everyone can count on. Let’s endeavor to preserve these not only for ourselves, but for each other.
As Attorney General Loretta Lynch said only this morning, “(The answer) must be action. Calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action.” I know we can do this, and I strongly believe that we will.
Scott R. Olson