WC president shares message following forum with students

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Wilmington College President Trevor Bates shared this message to the campus community following a student forum he and Board of Trustees Chair Rich Sidwell hosted earlier this month in the wake of the recent peaceful student demonstrations.

Dear WC community,

Board Chair Rich Sidwell and I held an open forum for students on December 9, 2021 as an opportunity for us to not only answer questions and address concerns, but also to listen and learn more about what’s on the mind of students.

We came away from the gathering convinced that, ultimately, all parties concerned want the same results. We didn’t hear any issues raised that we disagree with.

Rich has a long history with Wilmington College dating back to his student days in the mid-1960s. He’s a Quaker and was actively engaged on campus as a strong student voice on issues facing both the nation and WC.

Indeed, the College has a long history of student activism and it has always supported passionate peaceful expression.

The open forum included the vice chair of the board, local board members, and administrators both in-person and virtually. Thank you to each person who attended.

Our 90-minute conversation at the forum dealt with such topics as the campus LGBTQ+ community, Title IX, campus finances/resources, strategic planning, and accessibility.

I believe our students understand that these topics have existed for many years and cannot be fully addressed to their satisfaction — or mine — overnight but they left knowing the issues are important to the College administration and the Board.

We are committed to clarifying and/or addressing concerns that we hear from our campus community to the best of our ability. Listening from all parties is essential to understanding how we got here and what it will take from everyone to help get us to where we want to be as one College community.

The College’s RISE strategic plan offers a means to realizing these goals by putting initiatives in place to help us gain the resources we need to make progress on these and other important issues.

We welcome student support and energy to help advance the mission of the College. Rich stated the Board of Trustees “totally agrees these issues are critical. Your expression is valued and valuable.”

Rich and I fully endorse a collaborative approach to address issues that have plagued the College for many years and appreciate student’s willingness to engage in future ongoing conversations.

I appreciate those students whose sentiments include such comments as, “We care about these things because we love Wilmington College” and “I saw Wilmington College as a place to grow. This is one more thing I’ve chosen to be passionate about.”

We are blessed that Wilmington College is a place where students can share their concerns and express their passion on important issues. My new administration will continue to open new paths for communication that encourage sharing of information and continuing dialogue within and beyond our campus community.

We all want to make our beloved Wilmington College an even better place for living and learning.

Good luck on your final exams and may everyone enjoy a wonderful Christmas, Holiday Season and Winter Break shared with loved ones.

Blessings and Peace,

President Trevor


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