Statement from President Book about violence and rioting at the U.S. Capitol

President Connie Ledoux Book issued the following statement following the historic breach of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Dear members of the Elon Community,

In the strongest terms I reject the violence and rioting that resulted in a historic breach of our nation’s Capitol yesterday. The events and images that are now a part of our history will be, and should be, a strong reminder of our ongoing responsibility to protect and nurture the constitutional processes we rely on as a free society.

I was grateful that Congress reconvened last night to take the next step in the peaceful transition of power and to so clearly state the truth – that President-elect Joe Biden was elected by the people in a fair election. That honest, non-partisan leadership was critically needed to assure all of America that we are truly a country for and by the people. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, on the passage of the Voting Rights Act said to Congress: “In our system the first and most vital of all our rights is the right to vote. Jefferson described it as ‘the ark of our safety.’ It is from the exercise of this right that all our other rights flow.”

As a university community we have committed ourselves to strong support and education for voting because this is the fundamental way in which we practice citizenship and advance change in our country. I was particularly proud of the student leadership this year through Elon Votes!, which helped register a record-high number of our students to vote.

Please join me with a renewed sense of purpose to promote and defend essential elements of democratic citizenship. Thoughtful and civil discourse, careful listening and an informed and relentless search for knowledge and truth – these are the tools of education and the essential ingredients for a healthy and just republic. We must renew our commitment to a code of honor that embraces the honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect that make citizenship in a free society possible. The world needs Elon graduates and I am confident their work will lead our nation to brighter days.

Connie Ledoux Book