A Message from the President

Dear Students:

The Nov. 19 issue of News Flash, the University’s online newsletter, explains that I have been appointed to Connecticut Governor-Elect Ned Lamont’s transition team as a non-partisan member.

I am honored to be asked by the Governor-elect to offer my perspective on higher education and other issues of interest to the citizens of Connecticut, and I felt it important for our campus community to understand the non-partisan nature of my appointment.

As your president, I represent all students, faculty, and staff, and am bound by the ethics standards of the State of Connecticut. I sign a statement each year re-pledging my commitment to honoring and upholding those standards, which include prohibitions from me campaigning for any candidate. Furthermore, I have never contributed funds to any political campaigns in Connecticut. It is in that spirit and under those rules that I will be offering non-partisan advice and counsel to the governor-elect.

It was in that same spirit that I was comfortable in then-candidate Lamont’s visit to our campus on Oct. 30. The visit was initiated and hosted by the student club, Campus Democrats. As club president Alex Thompson ’20 reiterated to the audience that day, the University does not endorse any political candidate.

When candidates from other political parties are invited to campus by other student groups, we cordially make our facilities available. Over the years, numerous debates between candidates for public office in Connecticut have been held on our campus.

I want Eastern to continue to be a place where matters of interest to our campus community can be discussed in civil and open forums. Only by honoring the ethical standards and protocols I have described above can we do so in a way that is above reproach.

Each of our students has aspirations for a successful career. In addition to helping students realize those professional dreams, Eastern wants students to learn what it means for them to be engaged citizens. Participating in the electoral process is a responsibility for all active citizens; that responsibility includes following the rules. As your president, I am committed to being a role model for our students, as we work together to promote social discourse, building a culture conducive to free inquiry.

President Elsa Núñez