A New Year Begins

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

It is such a pleasure to see and participate in the series of activities—from welcoming our new students to the opening of the new Wheelock Student Center plaza—that precede the beginning of the fall semester as we prepare for the first day of classes on Monday.

As we begin this year, we are attentive not only to what is happening inside our classrooms and within the borders of our campus, but in our country and our world. Earlier this month, we all witnessed the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were preceded—and have been followed—by unimaginable events and acts of violence that reflect the deep fissures and challenges that exist in our country, our world, and our everyday lives.

As a university community, we are called to confront these challenges with wisdom and courage deeply rooted in our values as a liberal arts college. I believe the education we offer and the work we undertake at Puget Sound are critically important in providing the leadership and service the world needs. To that end, I write today to update you on some efforts underway on our campus.

Strategic Planning Community Conversations
Our vision for Puget Sound for the next decade must reflect the ways in which our commitment to a liberal arts education meets the needs of our community and our world. A message will follow shortly with more details about how you can be involved in this work, including attending a Community Conversation on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 3–4 p.m., in the Tahoma Room. Please save the date. 

Undocumented Students Work Group (USWG)

  • The USWG continues its good work in creating protocols and programs to support our community as a whole. Of note, no Puget Sound students have been detained on or off campus in the past year.
  • In partnerships with ASUPS, a new “Logger Language Liaisons” program was created for student orientation, with individuals on call to assist families speaking some 20 different languages at home.
  • Last May the university was pleased to participate as a sponsor of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) gala. Announcements will be out soon about educational opportunities in the coming year, including NWIRP “Know Your Rights” workshops.
  • Over the summer the USWG completed development for a campus response to court orders presented by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representatives to members of the campus community. If contacted, please remember to direct anyone representing ICE or the Department of Homeland Security to one of the following contact persons:
    • Rev. Dave Wright ’96, University Chaplain and Director of Civic Engagement, 253.879.3818 or 253.879.2751
    • Michael Pastore, Registrar, 253.879.3529
    • Cindy Matern P'09, P'11, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Career and Employment Services, 253.879.3116 or 253.879.3369
    • Todd Badham ’85, P’11, Director of Security Services, 253.879.3311

More information about this work is available at pugetsound.edu/student-life/resources-for-undocumented-persons.

New Sexual Misconduct and Discriminatory Harassment Policies
Last spring the university began the process of creating distinct policies prohibiting sexual misconduct and discriminatory harassment (formerly, these issues were represented in a single policy). The policies have been approved by the board of trustees; these and other policies that support our community standards are available at pugetsound.edu/policies. Updated student procedures related to complaints of sexual misconduct will be discussed at the Aug. 31 ASUPS Senate open forum, and will be posted no later than Sept. 8.

Diversions Café Open Office Hours
Unless traveling for business, I will be at Diversions Café for open office hours every Wednesday at 3 p.m., beginning Sept. 20. I look forward to seeing you there, and at the numerous lectures, workshops, seminars, concerts, and athletic contests (Go, Loggers!) planned for this fall.

Please know that everyone on campus is not only invited but encouraged to express concerns and share ideas as we work together to create a more just and equitable world. The community standards to which we ascribe call upon us to promote and defend academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas, including the right to assemble, protest, and demonstrate in accordance with university policies designed to respect the rights, promote the dignity, and protect the safety of campus members and guests. 

There is work ahead that only we can do. I am so thankful to be part of a community of learners dedicated to putting their educations to work in the world and in service to others.


Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President