While the University of Florida worked to ensure the safety and well-being of our community in the weeks leading up to the National Policy Institute’s event held on the UF campus on Oct. 19, no one could have predicted how events would unfold that day. But as President Fuchs wrote in an Alligator column just hours after the event concluded, “The whole world was watching, and the whole world saw how we responded to a hateful and despicable bully.”
The world was indeed watching, as media coverage later that day and in the days that followed demonstrated. President Fuchs’ commitment to the values of “love and good deeds” in the face of hate was at the forefront of the national conversation, illustrated in this Chronicle of Higher Education article and many others like it.
Fuchs’ Alligator column, which can be found online here, went on to discuss the complexities of navigating the challenges of balancing free speech protections, security concerns and sensitivity to those who felt particularly vulnerable. What remains clear is that while the anxieties of that particular day’s events may behind us, the conversations they prompted continue to evolve.
The “Together UF” movement organized by student leaders, whose virtual assembly held on Oct. 19 may still be viewed online, is continuing the dialogue through a series dubbed “Together Tuesdays,” held each week on Turlington Plaza. To learn more, visit the Together UF Facebook page.
Faculty and staff are reminded of the community of care and concern that surrounds them and the many resources available to them and to their students. During this season of gratitude, we can all continue to find ways to express support for one another.
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More reasons to be grateful…
Launched Sept. 18, the newly established Aid-a-Gator program was established to provide faculty and staff impacted by Hurricane Irma with emergency funding. To date, 345 employees have received awards totaling nearly $120,000. The program was made possible through initial seed money of $100,000 from the SEC, with the remaining funding made possible through the donations from fellow faculty and staff as well as members of the Gator community. Through the Foundation, UF is still accepting donations and hopes you will consider making a gift.
Field and Fork Food Drive
A university-wide food drive competition benefiting the UF Field & Fork’s Alan & Cathy Hitchcock Food Pantry kicked off in October and runs through Nov. 7. Departments throughout campus were encouraged to compete by collecting the most food and funds. If your department is interested in participating and has not registered, there’s still time! Email Anna Prizzia at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.