One week ago today we witnessed a traumatic event in our nation’s history as many engaged in an attack on our nation’s Capitol. I, like all of you, was shocked, saddened, and yes, afraid, of what such an attack symbolized for our country. These feelings are normal and ones that each of us will be processing in the days, weeks, and months to come in our own ways.
These events, fueled by disturbing ideologies, resulted in destruction, injury and tragically, in death. This violence, as a means to political ends, has rightfully left many around the world, across our nation as well as those in our university community confused, shaken and even fearful.
We stand united as the Maverick Community in our belief that no one should live in fear for who they are, where they are from, and what they stand for. This is especially important to remember as we look ahead to Inauguration Day on next Wednesday; and many, many more Inauguration Days to come.
As you may have seen in news reports, federal buildings in Washington, D.C. and statehouses around the country are now placed on high alert ahead of Inauguration Day, preparing for the possibility of similar incidents. Please know that we are working closely with our Public Safety teams and other leaders to keep our campus community safe. I also encourage everyone to stay safe, speak with kindness, empathy, and focus on what we can each do to create positive change while making our voices heard.
If you are experiencing stress or anxiety at this time, or any time in the future, do not hesitate to reach out and find a peer, mentor, or colleague to talk with. Students can also find resources to promote their mental and emotional wellbeing through UNO Counseling and Psychological Resources (CAPS), while faculty and staff can find the same resources through UNO's Faculty and Staff Employee Assistance Program (FSEAP). In addition, all UNO students, faculty and staff can utilize UNO’s Bias and Hate Incidents website when they witness or experience racist, bigoted, biased, and prejudiced activity on our campus.
It is difficult to know what the coming days and weeks will bring, but I do know that when presented the option, we choose compassion over anger and understanding over ignorance. We choose to lead by example in our community and our state. I look forward to each of us making a strong commitment to our values, together and with grace.
In the Maverick Spirit,
Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.