September 24, 2001
Dear Colleagues and Students:
Since we first came together as a campus community a day after the terrible events of Sept. 11, we have begun to face emotions even more difficult than the shock and grief we shared that day. Anger and despair for many, and the expectation that there will be strong differences of opinion about the course our government should pursue.
Yet, this need not divide this campus or cause us to lose the sustaining sense of community that has been our initial response to the terrorist attacks. We can and must do something immensely significant in the hard times to come. We can maintain the small world that is San Francisco State University as a model of what we would like the greater world to be. I know that this very thought is on your minds, for it recurs in many of the e-mail messages I have received from faculty, staff, and students in recent days. You have sent quotations, copies of columns that have touched you, and you have spoken in your own heartfelt words.
Among the restorative messages I have received are these:
This is not a political message. I am not writing to offer an opinion on how our nation should seek to bring to justice those still living who bear responsibility for the events of Sept. 11, or how terrorism might be eradicated. As individuals, we cannot change the world, but we can make one part of it - our immediate community - better, one personal encounter at a time. We have an absolute obligation to preserve this university as a safe and supportive community for all among us. Doing so is in itself a victory.
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