Dear Ms. Zuraw-Friedland:
As Mayor of New London, I have been following the recent incidents at Connecticut College, and want to commend the students for taking initiative in determining the type of community they want to be, and for addressing an issue that people of all ages have difficulty discussing. I also commend President Bergeron for encouraging a dialogue that will help the campus heal and resolve issues important to the student body.
Connecticut College and New London have a special relationship, and it is vital that we both respect inclusiveness and diversity. I was particularly disturbed by the graffiti that targeted students of color on campus. That graffiti does not reflect our shared values. Both the college and the city thrive on diversity, and these acts work counter to the goal of fostering openness so all voices can be heard.
During my tenure as Mayor, it has been important to me that all people are respected, and that we all work together to bring different backgrounds, different points of view, and better solutions to problems that arise. I am encouraged to see the college administration working cooperatively with the student body as they take an active role in bettering their campus. Efforts like these are necessary in order to erode, and ultimately erase, racial prejudice, so that all people embrace the diversity which makes both New London and Connecticut College great.
Mayor Daryl Finizio
City of New London