Last night, we witnessed American democracy in action: once again, we saw a peaceful transfer of power and the responsibility for leading our nation take place through the ballot box, and not by a violent overthrow of the government as continues to happen in many nations around the globe.
Feelings ran high regarding this election insofar as the candidates for president from the two major parties held very different views for the future of our nation. It is understandable that some people are jubilant today, while others may feel despondent. But it is imperative that we continue to be respectful both of the views of others and of the democratic process itself. We are guaranteed the right of participation in the process, not the right of the outcome we had hoped to see.
Any transition of a presidential administration brings with it a period of uncertainty—how will things change? Who or what will be most affected by the change? When will the change come? But it is important to stress that the values we have worked so hard to create and exemplify at Roger Williams University will not change. We will continue to expand our commitment to reflect the diversity of the state and region in the population of faculty, staff, and students on our campus. We will continue to focus on social justice. We will continue to be respectful of those with opinions and perspectives different from our own, even as we seek to learn from them, and to test our own values and beliefs as a necessary part of being a member of the learning community we call Roger Williams University.
We should all congratulate President-elect Donald Trump, even as we extend our thanks to Secretary Hillary Clinton for a hard-fought campaign—and we should commit to doing so in a respectful and constructive manner.
Donald J. Farish