Schlissel pens email to students after election encouraging inclusion, intellectual honesty

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 12:39pm

After Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s unprecedented win in the presidential election early Wednesday morning, University President Mark Schlissel sent out an campuswide e-mail emphasizing the importance of inclusion Wednesday morning.

“In the aftermath of a close and highly contentious election we continue to embrace our most important responsibility as a university community,” Schlissel wrote. “We are at our best when we come together to engage respectfully across our ideological differences.”

Immediately after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s concession to Trump early Wednesday morning, students gathered on the Diag to hold a vigil for the country and chalk supportive messages for minority students, while others on campus celebrated the results. Michigan Daily surveys found a majority of students disapproved of the prospect of a Trump presidency, and many at local watch parties throughout the night expressed fear and anxiety about a Trump win. 

In his email, Schlissel outlined resources available for students seeking support in the wake of the election, including a student-planned vigil on the Diag Wednesday night, resources for faculty offered by the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning and multiple community debriefs and analyses offered by the Ford School of Public Policy, the LSA History Department and the Ginsberg Center. Units such as the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs and the Office of Student Life are also holding open spaces for support and referrals for all students through Wednesday.

“I hope all of us will continue to proudly embrace the opportunities before us as the students, faculty and staff of a great public research university governed by the people,” Schlissel wrote. “Elections are often times of great change, but the values we stand for at U-M have been shaped over the course of nearly 200 years.”

Schlissel previously made several nonpartisan statements on the election encouraging students to vote via email, social media and in person at a Central Student Government meeting Monday night, noting Michigan’s potential swing state status on the eve of the election. With 100 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Trump led in Michigan by less than a percent. 

“(The candidates’) perceptions are that Michigan is up for grabs,” Schlissel said at the Monday meeting.