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Embracing Our Catamount Values

Dear WCU community, 

As we enter the final days before Election Day, bringing an end to one of the most turbulent political seasons in recent history, it is important to pause, take a breath and remember to live the values we all embrace as Catamounts.  

Our university is built on several core values, all of which are vital to our success, but I want to remind you of two particularly: WCU is a place for collaboration with and respect for our community, and we embrace a free and open exchange of ideas. Those two values do not ever need to be in conflict; it is our duty to show respect to each other, even with those who we disagree. A hallmark of any great university is the ability for those who disagree to come together in thoughtful and meaningful conversation.  

The issues our country and society have faced the past year likely have caused stress, made you angry or uncomfortable and tested your relationships. Many of you have passionately expressed your personal views, and I applaud you for that. But, regardless of the election’s outcome, we must react with civility. No matter one’s political views or background, it is paramount that we all treat each other with dignity and respect.  

As I have said before, students accepted into our community agree to hold themselves to high standards of personal integrity, to respect the rights and well-being of others and to value individual differences. During this most difficult year, I have seen countless examples of Catamounts supporting each other and showing grace to one another. I expect us to continue that over the next week and in the days after the election.  

Please, if you see a fellow student struggling, offer your hand. If a staff member seems distraught, ask how you can help. If a faculty member is distracted, show understanding. 

Remember, as Catamounts, there is more that brings us together than divides us. I truly believe that sense of family and community is what makes this university special.  


Kelli R. Brown 

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