Referring to incidents of bigoted statements being written in campus residence halls as long ago as last fall and as recently as the previous evening, Lucas-Tauchar said that in the majority of those cases, the culprits were caught and dealt with severely.
"Should you choose to do something like that," Lucas-Tauchar told the freshmen, "I want you to know that we as a community are not going to put up with it. You might think that you're just being witty and having fun, but we won't.
"We cherish and celebrate each one of you," she continued. "If you treat all the members of this community with respect, you will flourish here, and we will all flourish because you are here."
In his convocation address, President Bill Chace echoed Lucas-Tauchar's theme of community unity. While Emory on the one hand is a meritocracy where talent, success and genius foster healthy competition, Chace said, Emory also is simultaneously a democracy where "everyone is treated fairly and in a just way. Learn everything you can from the meritocracy here, but also learn from the democratic possibilities here."
Freshman parents get `oriented'
Earlier in orientation week, the parents of 1,150 Emory College freshmen, with Emory maps and orientation schedules in hand, flocked to Glenn Auditorium on Aug. 24 to hear President Chace, Dean Lucas-Tauchar and other administrators welcome them and their children to the Emory community. The Emory contingent told parents what they could expect of their children, themselves and the administration over the next four years.
"One of my jobs," said Lucas-Tauchar, "is to make sure your children have a terrific experience outside the classroom. We're just as interested in the outside as the inside. Your children may learn things you don't expect them to learn. They may learn how many days it takes a check to bounce, that clean underwear does not reproduce itself, and they may learn about Jack Daniels and Jim Beam."
Chace then addressed the audience, providing them with some of his own background. "The president of a university and his values have a way of adding color and texture to a university," he said. "Emory is a vivid, real and challenging place due to the students, faculty and staff. Your children are proceeding on the momentum your family produced throughout the years. The love, sharing and caring are monumental and stand no chance of evaporating at Emory.
"I believe in the value of liberal education for talented and bright young people," Chace continued. "I think this will be the most powerful moment in a young person's life." Expanding on the value of education, Chace encouraged members of the Class of 2000 to develop an autonomous self, "accumulating a self-directing momentum while conforming to the behavioral norms of society.
"[The Class of 2000] is here at Emory to construct a self. It is their project. The Emory years are one of the most intense and dramatic chapters. Whatever else happens, this does; the process is inevitable and steady. In college, the process may seem rapid."
Chace closed his remarks with words of appreciation for the parents. "Thank you for the hopes and dreams you leave. We appreciate the trust you've extended to us."
--Dan Treadaway and Danielle Service