I’ve been thinking of all of you. Today on the eve of Veterans Day I am thinking of our student veterans who have defended our rights and our country. Their sacrifice protects our democracy and allows us to exercise our right to vote as many of us did this election season. As an immigrant to this country I cherish this right and responsibility.

The results of the election have given rise to a wide range of emotions. Many of you may be wondering how the outcomes of our federal and state elections might impact you and your future. I want you to know that we have your back at Lane Community College. You are part of the Lane family. All of us who teach and work here are committed to your success.

As educators we have a unique responsibility to create safe learning environments where every student can learn. Our college values of equity and inclusion have not changed and will not change and we will do everything we can to assure that we live out our values in every classroom and in each interaction. If you are feeling vulnerable in any way, there are lots of resources at the college and many faculty in your classrooms who will lend a helping hand. During these times of transition it is even more important to stay connected and support one another. Let’s be there for each other, think critically and debate with civility and caring.

This week I have been at our nation’s capital, meeting with the American Association of Community Colleges. We are gearing up to work with the incoming administration and the 115th Congress to ensure your access to affordable, high-quality education.

Whatever changes come at us, as students at Lane, you have already shown that you have courage and determination. You have what it takes. We’re with you, every single one of you and we will do everything we can to help you succeed.