Simpson College president invites community for open discussion following divisive election


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INDIANOLA, Iowa — Calling it “the most divisive presidential election” he’s ever experienced, Jay Simmons, president of Simpson College, said in an email Wednesday he needed to address the 2016 presidential election as it came to a close.

A number of Simpson students have been posting on social media reactions of President-elect Donald Trump’s stunning win over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, ranging from elation to fear, Simmons said.

“My purpose in writing is not to comment on politics, but to acknowledge the range of emotions and reactions to the election,” he said. “Whatever your personal views may be, we must acknowledge that the outcome of the election came as a result of the constitutionally and legally prescribed procedures of our Republic. In making that acknowledgment, we must also recognize that members of our Simpson and broader community are concerned about their futures because of the rhetoric of this campaign season. This is a moment when we must turn to Simpson’s foundational values and support one another. As the College’s statement on Diversity and Inclusion asserts,

“Consistent with our educational mission, we recognize ourselves as a community that respects individual identities linked to varying sociocultural characteristics including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, first language, religious or spiritual tradition, age, functional ability, socioeconomic status, physical attributes or familial status. (A Statement of the Faculty Regarding Diversity and Inclusion at Simpson College, November 13, 2013).”

Simmons has invited the Simpson community for an open discussion at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Principal Black Box to talk about values and to “reaffirm… commitment and support for one another.”

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