On the Recent Events at the Capitol
The Columbia Political Union has felt it necessary to issue a statement condemning the events which have transpired at the United States Capitol. Regardless of one’s partisan affiliation, the commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and the United States Constitution, shared by this organization and our University, prohibits us from staying silent. The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. was unlawfully infiltrated by groups opposed to a peaceful transition of power between two democratically elected presidents. The events were not an expression of free speech or civil disobedience; rather, they were an overt attempt to halt the American democratic process and damage the security and stability of the nation.
The events must be rightly condemned, and echoing President Bollinger, we support all who do so. Nevertheless, our nation must address the political developments and pathologies which have contributed to them. We denounce any and all events which transcend partisan politics and threaten our core freedoms and the sanctity and security of our nation. American democracy is and always has been under threat, and it is only through vigilant defense of our institutions and laws that our nation has weathered the storms of its past.
The Columbia Political Union is but a sliver of our democracy’s line of defense. We recognize our responsibility to provide a space for productive political dialogue, but also to protect and defend the very institutions, norms, and values which allow for such dialogue. In the coming years, we hope to continue elevating civil discourse between students, faculty, and community members, so that we may find common ground during the best and worst of times. We will continue our work and our mission, and we are proud to do so with renewed vigor and purpose.