Gator News

Message to the college community / tomorrow's election

By President Suzanne M. Johnson, November 2, 2020

Dear Green River College Community –  

I write to you today on election eve 2020.  As a college, we represent countless identities, ethnicities, lived experiences, and personal values.  Collectively we come to work each day with our individual uniquenesses and participate in and represent a college whose mission is to ensure student success through comprehensive educational programs and support services responsive to our diverse communities.  We stand for our college’s values each day:  student access, student success, equity, innovation, community engagement, global awareness, campus environment and stewardship. When we interact with our students and with each other every day we strive to demonstrate these values.   

Given the magnitude of this year’s election, presidents and chancellors of the 34 community and technical colleges of Washington (WACTC), the SBCTC and ACT have come together to express, collectively, a message which we are sharing with our colleges and across the state.  Please find below, a link to the message.  I have also attached the message to this email.  

As tomorrow comes and goes, let us remember, regardless of the outcomes of our local and national elections, our mission and values are timeless and enduring.  They are our anchors and our guide each day now and moving forward. 

Please stay well…..Suzanne  

Joint Values Statement

November 2, 2020

It is the day before the general election and millions of Americans are exercising their fundamental right to choose the next president of the United States. People are also casting their ballots for many other candidates at the federal, state and local levels. This has perhaps been one of the most contentious election seasons in our nation’s history, with great significance for our country.

Regardless of the outcomes, important work remains to be done. The underlying issues that created persistent inequities, disparities and unrest in our country will remain if we, as Americans, become complacent after this election.

Black Lives Matter — today and every day, and through all election cycles. Our colleges will continue to tackle systemic racism and dismantle institutional barriers for students of color. All students deserve to accomplish the dreams that brought them to our doors.

We are proud to be part of the fabric of our local communities, home to people from all walks of life, belief systems, origins and identities. Diversity in all its forms is our nation’s greatest asset.

As higher education institutions, we will continue to advance critical thinking, foster courageous conversations, and provide a platform for communities to learn from, and about, one another.

Community and technical colleges are, after all, democracy’s colleges. We were built from the idea that people from all backgrounds and incomes should have the right to higher education. We were created in the knowledge that education empowers people, builds better lives and creates stronger communities. Our students are the key to building a bright future for America, with a stronger and more inclusive economy.

As we navigate the next weeks and months, let us remember that our nation’s fate is not only determined by those who hold the highest positions, but by the everyday actions of the people who make up the fabric of our country. America’s character is built by the moment-by-moment decisions to choose kindness over cruelty, action over complacency, generosity over self-centeredness and community over division.

These qualities are on shining display at commencement ceremonies, where friends and family members express sheer joy not just for their own loved ones, but for all the students. Even during this historic pandemic, when many ceremonies have temporarily moved online, this goodwill shines through; we bring out the best in ourselves for others.

Let’s continue to reach out across our differences, come together and create the world in which we want to live. Combined, the individual ripples we create will build into a wave that moves our college communities, and our nation, forward.

  • Carol Landa-McVicker, SBCTC Chair
  • Robert Ryan, ACT President, Tacoma Community College
  • Eric Murray, WACTC President, Cascadia College
  • Lin Zhou, Bates Technical College
  • Gary Locke, Bellevue College
  • Kimberly Perry, Bellingham Technical College
  • Sara Thompson Tweedy, Big Bend Community College
  • Bob Mohrbacher, Centralia College
  • Karin Edwards, Clark College
  • Joyce Loveday, Clover Park Technical College
  • Rebekah Woods, Columbia Basin College
  • Amit Singh, Edmonds College
  • Daria Willis, Everett Community College
  • Edward Brewster, Grays Harbor College
  • Suzanne Johnson, Green River College
  • John Mosby, Highline College
  • Amy Morrison, Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • Christopher Bailey, Lower Columbia College
  • Chemene Crawford, North Seattle College
  • Marty Cavalluzzi, Olympic College
  • Luke Robins, Peninsula College
  • Michele Johnson, Pierce College
  • Julie White, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
  • Darrell Cain, Pierce College Puyallup
  • Kevin McCarthy, Renton Technical College
  • Sheila Edwards Lange, Seattle Central College
  • Shouan Pan, Seattle Colleges
  • Cheryl Roberts, Shoreline Community College
  • Tom Keegan, Skagit Valley College
  • Tim Stokes, South Puget Sound Community College
  • Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, South Seattle College
  • Christine Johnson, Community Colleges of Spokane
  • Kevin Brockbank, Spokane Community College
  • Kimberlee Messina, Spokane Falls Community College
  • Ivan Harrell, Tacoma Community College
  • Chad Hickox, Walla Walla Community College
  • Jim Richardson, Wenatchee Valley College
  • Kathi Hiyane-Brown, Whatcom Community College
  • Linda Kaminski, Yakima Valley College 

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