I thank Sharon Salyer and Eric Stevick for their fine article regarding the concerns of our international and foreign-born American resident students in light of the recent tragedies (“Terror attack causes turmoil for international students,” Sept. 23). In the article, Salyer and Stevick paraphrased my letters to students and staff to say that I “urged tolerance.” I did say, “We have no room here for demonstrations of … intolerance.” However, “tolerance” is not what we seek.
To my mind, “tolerance,” implies we simply “put up with,” or tolerate our foreign students. Mere tolerance has never been our goal. As we move into the new academic year, we will not just tolerate, but will continue to work hard to encourage and support all our students, without regard to race, nationality, religion, gender or orientation.
Our encouragement and support is not, and has never been, passive. Now we are focusing even more closely on the safety and security of each of our students and each other. Our college will continue to operate as a community where the free flow of ideas and greater understanding are encouraged in an atmosphere of respect and acceptance.
Everett Community College