Unity Vigil Remarks

Unity Vigil

November 23, 2015
President Schill’s remarks

Welcome to this Unity Vigil. Welcome students, faculty, staff and friends of the U of O. Welcome people of all faiths, cultures, ethnicities, orientations, genders and perspectives. Welcome all.

We are here tonight, united in our sorrow and heartbreak over the pain and violence our fellow humans are experiencing around the world. We are here to show our support to the victims and survivors of the terror in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, Mali and elsewhere.

We are also here to call for peace, understanding and reflection in the aftermath of these cowardly and unthinkable acts. In times of chaos and mourning, it is all the more important to show compassion, to check our assumptions, and not retreat into fear, bias and xenophobia.

This is a multi-cultural campus with students and faculty from all over the world. They need to feel safe and supported on our campus and to not fear that they will be judged or profiled for the way they look, their country of origin or by their faith. We must stand up to ignorance and remain united in creating a welcoming campus.

It is times like these when a great university like ours has an opportunity to create understanding, healthy discourse, and exchange of ideas. This is a place where research, teaching and service allow us to help the world make sense of the senseless.

Knowledge can be the antidote to fear and hate. This is where many of us find our peace, in hoping that we, as educators, can create understanding.

I thank the Division of Equity and Inclusion, Student Life, Undergraduate Studies, the Graduate School, International Studies and others who helped to put on this event.

Thank you to everyone who is here.  And welcome all!