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K-State Today

August 27, 2019

A message to the K-State Family for the new academic year

Submitted by Tanya González, Thomas Lane, Jansen Penny and Cyreathia "Sam" Reyer

Dear campus community,

The start of the academic year is an exciting time with students beginning their coursework and taking part in a vibrant campus life, faculty members ready to share their knowledge, and staff and administration working to support the university's educational enterprise. This new beginning also provides a time for the campus community to acquaint itself with our Principles of Community, one of the aspects that help make our K-State Family culture distinctive.

The Principles of Community are posted in campus offices and other areas as a visual reminder of the expectations we have of each other as K-State community members. Not only are the Principles of Community important for engaging with each other in a higher education environment, but they can also be guideposts throughout one's life as we enact our roles as global citizens. These principles also connect with the university's general education goals of widening one's perspective and broadening one's learning.

Reflecting its mission, a public university should be a place where issues and ideas can be freely discussed, debated, evaluated, challenged, affirmed or refuted. As we engage with each other in conversation, at programs and events, through social media channels and other means of interpersonal communication, we ask all of us to view our interactions through the lens of our Principles of Community and reflect upon such questions as:

  • How are my actions affirming the inherent dignity and value of others?
  • How can I contribute to an atmosphere of justice that respects others?
  • How am I standing united with other community members against all forms of discrimination?
  • How am I ensuring each person, especially those with whom I may disagree strongly with, can freely express their thoughts and opinions in a spirit of civility and decency?
  • How am I contributing to a positive spirit that affirms other’s learning and growth?
  • Am I being honest and acting with integrity in my interactions with others?

Many programs and activities throughout the academic year will provide opportunities to put these principles into practice. For example, Wildcat Dialogues will be from 7-9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, in the K-State Student Union Ballroom to facilitate courageous conversations centered on intercultural learning and leadership development for new students. The third annual KSUnite will be from 12:30–3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, and will allow us to learn from one another and reaffirm our commitment to our Principles of Community.

We look forward to the year ahead and to the strengthening of the bonds that form our K-State Family and the celebration of the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities each of us brings to our community.


Dr. Tanya González
Faculty Senate President

Dr. Thomas Lane
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

Jansen Penny
Student Governing Association President

Cyreathia "Sam" Reyer
University Support Staff President