Divided Nation, One Belmont

Tomorrow will be an eventful day for the nation as the Presidential Inauguration is upon us. I could go on about the significance of a peaceful transition of power or ringing in a new presidency, but I'd rather not write about that and you'd rather not read it. Instead, I want to write a message about Belmont and those who attend this University.

The first area that I'd like to recognize is the extreme passion of Belmont students. I was talking to someone a few days ago who recalled the struggle of getting Bridge Builders established, not because it was hard but because the idea wasn't popular. This individual recalled looking out and seeing hundreds of students marching across campus because they felt so passionately about the topic. Though students have changed, I think the passion remains as a part of the Belmont culture and I want to see that same passion in the coming days. If you support President-elect Donald Trump, I hope you continue the message of giving a voice to those who feel the establishment doesn't work for them. If you don't support the President-elect, I hope you will keep your passion for equality and inclusion over the next four years.

The second focus of this message is to highlight the love of Belmont. Whether your side won, your side lost, or you don't care at all, I hope you remember how much we love one another. Sometimes things happen that aren't out of love (recall Snapchat and keeping Bridge Builders off of this campus), but I hope we always come back to the fact that we're all Belmont Bruins at the end of the day. I hope we remember to have compassion for those who we may disagree with, but we also remember our convictions and stick to what we believe in. Through it all remember respect.

You may not want to read another message about the election, you may not want to watch the inauguration, and you may not want to read those on social media who feel pained by the election results. Whatever your convictions, I hope you remember to maintain compassion, express grace, and show love tomorrow, the next day, and the following four years.

Chris Dickerson