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LUC The Hague: Message from the Dean #2

19 June 2020

Our recent journey of addressing racism at LUC has not been without bumps in the road. Given that change is rarely linear, and that this process involves hundreds of people - students, staff, and alumni - this is to be expected. It is inevitable that the way each of the phases that we are going through as a College are experienced and perceived will vary depending on our personal backgrounds, views, and personalities. To complicate matters, very few of us are able to meet in person, and almost all communication is happening remotely, through screens, with the danger of forgetting that we are actually all talking to human beings.

It is these circumstances that can easily lead to misinformation, misunderstandings, well-meaning but impulsive responses, and ultimately to regret. We need to be continuously aware of these pitfalls, not only for ourselves, but also in how we interpret the behaviors of others. That means acknowledging that we rarely fully know people’s reasons for expressing certain opinions, for posting certain messages, or for signing certain letters. There is usually far more going on than meets the eye. So do not be too hasty to deal out judgment in the name of justice. Even the wise cannot see all ends or even all beginnings.

We are a hasty folk however. But for now I suggest that we quiet down for a moment. Let us think, talk, and reflect in person if we want or need to, but not on social media or in the form of public petitions. Let the crickets come in for a few days. Not to silence anybody, but to give this process and the people in it some breathing room. We all need it.

So I call on the entire LUC community to help me to nurture and embrace restraint, for the simple but important fact that we all care about LUC. Even if we do not always agree on everything, in the end we do have the common goal of making LUC the best place it can be. And that requires a community effort with room for animated conversation but also for quiet reflection at times.

Let us now take that time to reflect and focus on personal human interaction, so that we can fruitfully engage in conversation at the third town hall meeting that will take place on Wednesday June 24, 16.00 – 17.30h via this link.

And remember:

Even though the happy ending may seem out of sight at times, we will get there. I promise.

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