Today's Update: Wednesday, January 13

January 13, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, As you know, one of the focus areas for Student Life that I announced in the summer was Belonging and Inclusion. To quote the description used at the time: “It has never been more critical to create experiences and social engagement opportunities for all students and staff. To be successful, we must build structures, support and resources that foster – and lead to - a sense of belonging, which is critical to retention and persistence for students, and retention and engagement for staff members.”  

Part of creating these spaces and this environment includes fostering constructive dialogue, even in the midst of diverging viewpoints. Yesterday, in her Reflections of a First-Year Buckeye message, President Johnson acknowledged the difficulties facing our nation right now, as evidenced by last week’s events at the Capitol. She announced a new Education for Citizenship discussion series meant to help facilitate more “productive conversations on difficult topics.” I encourage you to consider participating.  

The first session is tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 14), and the topic will be “Fostering Deliberative Democracy in Our Era of Political Polarization.” There will be more discussions on future Thursdays.  

You can find out more about this program and the entire series online. odi.osu.edu/education-citizenship-initiative   

As we support students, and support each other, it has never been more important that we seek ways to come together for a common purpose, even while we may not always agree on every topic or issue. This is not easy work, but I am proud that we as a Student Life team and as a university are willing to do what’s hard to do what’s right.  

I hope you are having a Scarlet and Great week. 

Melissa