Dear Campus Community,
Like each and every one of you, I am shaken by what has transpired in our community and our nation over the last few days. The horrific video of the death of George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers provided yet another reminder of the negative and lasting impact such actions have on all members of our community.
Ohio Dominican University is blessed to have one of the most diverse student bodies in Central Ohio. We were founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, so the pursuit of peace, justice, and truth are at the heart of our mission and our common experience. That mission compels us to speak to the injustice of racism and the need to work together peacefully and respectfully to achieve meaningful change. Indeed, our call as a Catholic Dominican university is to provide support and comfort to all who are angry, hurt, and fearful on a daily basis. We embrace the power of peaceful protest to influence change on behalf of those who are the victims of injustice. We condemn acts of violence and the senseless destruction of property that contradict and distract from those values. As a campus community, we must all remain united in our resolve to address injustice in ways that can truly make a positive difference in the world.
Now more than ever, I believe the four pillars of Dominican life should guide our thoughts and actions:
Study – Seek truth always with an emphasis on the quality and dignity of life.
Service – Find a positive outreach in a practical way that fosters a search for truth.
Community – Live with other persons in peace and harmony to heal the world.
Prayer – Growth in a spiritual relationship with God and self, including all of creation.
As president, I am committed to promoting a safe and respectful environment for each and every member of our campus community. Together, we must support those in our campus family who are targets of injustice, hate, and racism. I call on each of us to do more today and tomorrow than we have in the past to demonstrate our commitment to peace and truth, and to serve as an example to the community and the world the healing power of Christ’s love.
In peace and truth,
Robert A. Gervasi, Ph.D.