Postponed: January 6, 2021: Community Conversations Transcript

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Joe Helble:

Welcome, everyone. I’m Joe Helble, the Provost of Dartmouth College, and I’m welcoming you to what was intended to be our 19th Community Conversation. And the first one of the New Year, addressing planning response in operations in the time of COVID-19. But I know that many of you at this moment also have an eye on the shocking scenes playing out in the U.S. Capitol right now. We considered, continuing with today’s broadcast, regardless of those events. We are an educational institution. One of the country’s leading institutions of higher education.

And in my view, it is not only important but essential that the work of this campus continue. That we continue to move forward to get ready for tomorrow, to welcome our students back to the classroom, to engage in thoughtful debate over deeply held ideas in a respectful way, to model the behavior that we are sadly not seeing right now on the national stage.

But over the past hour, the scenes of chaos and even violence in the national Capitol have become so stunning that we feel that it is right to pause. Our work must continue. The pandemic has not abated and the human need for learning has not abated. In fact, our work here has, in fact, never been more important to our students and to the country.

We are canceling today’s broadcast so that everyone can follow the events as they unfold in Washington. But we will be back soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow or Friday with more news information and planning for the educational term that not only will continue but must continue, starting with tomorrow’s return to classes for our students. Thank you for your understanding. And I look forward to reconnecting with you in the coming days. Have a good afternoon.