A Letter to President Trump

Dear President Trump,

As the Student Senate President, I represent the undergraduate students of Rockhurst University. Recent tension on our campus and many other college campuses, due in part to the current social and political climate, have made our Student Senate keenly aware of our responsibility to actively work for the safety and well-being of all of those whom we represent.

Rockhurst’s Jesuit Mission and Values call us to work zealously towards a more just world, a more perfect Union. Recently, Pope Francis, a Jesuit himself, challenged our generation to be intentional in inviting all to have a seat at the table. “Dialogue” he says, “presupposes and demands that we seek a culture of encounter; an encounter which acknowledges that diversity is not only good, it is necessary.” In rooting our relentless work for justice in this and other Jesuit ideals including Cura Personalis (Care for the Whole Person) and Contemplation in Action, we proudly take this opportunity to engage in open and free dialogue to promote the rights, opportunities, and responsibilities of our fellow students, principles certainly manifest in the Constitution of the United States.

As representatives of a broad and diverse constituency, we embrace Pope Francis’ outlook. We respectfully ask, over the course of the next four years, that your administration likewise work to ensure that all voices are heard and considered. The Melting Pot that is the United States is at its finest when its unique array of perspectives is sincerely valued, heard, and integrated at the table of conversation. We particularly request that the administration be open to engagement with historically oppressed populations, many of whom we represent, which include but are not limited to: undocumented immigrants, people of color, the cyclically impoverished, and the unborn.

It is not our Ignatian Way of Proceeding to make demands. Rather, we merely aspire to leave no stone unturned as we continue to seek justice in our world – and do so in a way that engenders civility. We believe that intentional and respectful dialogue, as well as inclusion of the diverse populations that we represent, truly embodies a government of “We the People.” We hope that the current administration joins us in such conversation, related legislative development, and subsequent administrative actions that reflect and honor these principles.

Zachary B. Pohlman
Rockhurst University
Student Senate President