Loyola University New Orleans President Tania Tetlow
On January 6, 2021, Loyola University New Orleans President Tania Tetlow sent the following message to students, faculty and staff in response to events that took place at the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to certify results from the Electoral College.
Subject: Today’s storming of the Capitol
I have, like most of you, been watching the news with horror this afternoon. What happened today goes beyond the proud American tradition of protest and has nothing to do with picking ideological sides. Today, a mob (I don’t have another word for it) broke into the Capitol and interrupted the institutions of our democracy with violence. They attacked the Congress itself at a crucial moment, during the constitutional transfer of power between presidents.
I’ve been holding on to memories today of my mentor growing up, former Congresswoman Lindy Boggs. For fifty years, she and her husband represented New Orleans in Congress – through World War II, through the passage of the Civil Rights Acts and the tumult of the 60s, through Watergate and direct challenges to the separation of powers. She taught me that what got the country through the massive turmoil of our history was a shared respect for the Constitution and the institutions of American government. I cannot imagine what Lindy would have thought of today’s events, or the image of patriotic Members of Congress like her crouching in fear.
For students, know that the faculty and staff of Loyola make it our life’s work to help you matter at moments like this. Our mission as a Jesuit institution is to teach you to grapple with fundamental issues of justice and morality. We want to help you gain context, question assumptions, and grow in empathy and understanding. I know that some of you will meet today’s events eager to jump into the world and matter. Others will react in understandable fear or cynicism or despair. But I hope you will all be thinking about how you will use your life to make a difference and ways we can help you get there.
Tonight, all of us should stop and pray hard. Pray for our nation. Pray for peace. Pray that the institutions of our democracy will hold.