Chancellor Foster's statement on U.S. Capitol violence

January 7, 2021 - The events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol yesterday were shocking to witness. This was an abhorrent attempt to interfere with our democratic process. As a public institution of higher education, we are called to uphold the values upon which our nation was founded.

Freedom of expression and peaceful protest are constitutional rights of every U.S. citizen, and they are rights we vigorously defend on our campus. Yesterday’s insurrection and violence which endangered the safety of our elected officials and defaced a revered institution, symbolic of our very democracy, must be condemned. I denounce yesterday’s unlawful and dangerous acts and decry the undertones of white privilege evident in the very different level of preparations for these protests, compared to other protests related to racial equity and social justice.

I am grateful to our members of congress and their staff who bravely continued their work of certifying the 2020 election results well into the night. I am also grateful for those in law enforcement and members of the National Guard who helped to protect congress and their staff in that effort.

I would like to use this moment to call upon the UW-River Falls community to embrace with renewed vigor our commitment to thoughtful civil discourse over anger, fear and violence; to truth and facts over conspiracy theories; and to equity over racism and division, as we seek to contribute to a future where every person in the U.S. can feel heard, valued and be seen as a productively engaged member of our democracy.

-- UW-River Falls Interim Chancellor Connie Foster

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