As an institution of higher education, the University of Pittsburgh acts as a beacon, elucidating the way forward for society and lighting a path toward a better future. As such, we strongly denounce the seditious and violent acts taken today to undermine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. 
Our system of government is based on a shared commitment and obligation, bestowed upon every citizen, to uphold the Constitution and laws governing our nation. Our elected officials have a special responsibility: a sworn duty to support, protect and defend our Constitution and laws, including against the very attacks—physical assaults on others as well as direct assaults on the core principles of our democracy—that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol Building today.   

None of us has ever seen—nor expected to see—such acts on American soil. Today’s events remind us that our democracy is not to be taken for granted. It is only as strong as our shared commitment to uphold its ideals and strive together to create a more perfect union. It must be nurtured, supported and defended. Despite today’s tragic events, I am not without hope. I see our country’s future leaders in our students, and they compel me to believe that this democracy is stronger than the shameful chapter we witnessed today.

Patrick Gallagher