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Message to the GCU Community Regarding Yesterday’s Events on Capitol Hill

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Dear GCU Community Members,

While the First Amendment grants us the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, yesterday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by an angry and disaffected mob was anything but that. Rather, it was an attempt to disrupt the peaceful transition of power that has been the hallmark of our American federal democracy since its inception. Thankfully, it failed.

Regardless of one’s political party affiliation, race, gender, sexual orientation, or citizenship status, we can agree that the events that occurred yesterday were criminal and should not have happened. The assault calls into question many of the decisions made and not made and the actions taken and not taken. Why were authorities unprepared to defend the Capitol? Why was the response delayed and restrained? Were these actions and inactions the result of a deliberate calculation, or the product of the systems of privilege and oppression that exist in the United States? We cannot ignore the fact that legal repercussions are not often applied equally, specifically as we address social justice and equity matters across the country. Those who assembled to protest the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others who have been affected by any form of oppression or discrimination were not treated the same as those who stormed the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Why?

Georgian Court, like all institutions of higher education, plays a critical role in addressing equity and social justice in the United States. It is our responsibility to provide spaces where critical issues (like yesterday’s events) can be studied, debated, and assessed from different perspectives, identities, and political or religious beliefs. We must continue to embrace our values: justice, integrity, respect, compassion, and service. Doing so allows us to serve our purpose of forming globally focused servant leaders, especially in times like these. We remain firmly committed to engaging in difficult dialogue and “doing the work” to make our campus, our community, and our world a better place.

We look forward to engaging with you this semester. Please continue to stay safe and well.

Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D.

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About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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