Thinking of you in the midst of today’s challenge to our democracy
January 6, 2021
As you are all aware, the planned protests and First Amendment demonstrations sponsored by President Trump supporters resulted in a security breach and violence within the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The breach and subsequent evacuation of the U.S. Congress are terrifying for those of us who live in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and for all of us as witnesses to this violence in the capital of the United States. The unprecedented interruption of the joint session of Congress that had convened to certify the results of the U.S. Presidential Election is a clear affront to our democracy.
NASPA supports the First Amendment right to assemble and protest. However, this was not a protest, but a riot that has endangered members of Congress and all those who work in and around the Capitol grounds. We condemn the violence we have witnessed today.
The differential treatment of today's rioters and this summer's protesters for racial equity can be traumatic for those with the lived experiences of racial violence. Please find safe psychological space for yourself, and check in with your communities of support if you are able.
The peaceful transition of power is a hallmark of American democracy. I am heartened by the comments expressed by President-Elect Joseph Biden who called on all of us - Democrats, Republicans, and Independents - to support this peaceful transition of power.
The events of today remind us of the important work we are doing on our campuses to support the civic and democratic engagement of our students - the future of our democracy is in their hands.
Please take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Dear NASPA Member,
In follow-up to my email from yesterday, NASPA will pause many of our activities for the rest of the week to give our staff, members, and the students that all of you serve the space to process and grieve the events of yesterday.
As a result, we are extending the early bird and transfer registration deadlines for the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference to Friday, January 15. Additionally, we will delay today’s scheduled opening of the NASPA Election until early next week.
The NASPA office will be open for our regular business hours, but we have encouraged our staff to be flexible in their schedules as they manage their own self-care. We appreciate your patience regarding our response time.
While the U.S. Congress was ultimately able to fulfill its Constitutional duty to certify the election results early this morning, today is still a day filled with sorrow and grief. Yesterday’s events were an assault on our democracy and a brazen display of white supremacy, systemic racism, and politics based on fear and lies.
We remain committed to supporting you and your students.