Many university presidents expressed admiration for Congress proceeding to certify the Electoral College votes.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the wake of violence and chaos at the U.S. Capitol last week, many universities in the Pittsburgh area released official statements reflecting on what to make of the turmoil at the nation’s capital.

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On Jan. 6, the day of the U.S. Capitol riots, CMU President Farnam Jahanian wrote that he was “deeply troubled” by what had occurred.

“I join other leaders throughout the country in denouncing this violent assault on our democracy and condemning the responsible parties for their actions,” Jahanian said. “I am grateful to those who protected the Capitol and I applaud the representatives who resumed proceedings to certify the results of the presidential election. Now more than ever, we must come together as a nation to reaffirm our faith in democracy and our commitment to a peaceful transfer of power.”

“I am shocked and saddened by the events that took place at the United States Capitol yesterday,” the President of Duquesne University, Ken Gormley, wrote on Jan. 7. “As someone who has studied and taught about the U.S. Constitution and American government for most of my life, it is incomprehensible to me that violence and lawlessness can ever be viewed as an appropriate substitute for following our legitimate democratic processes.”

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University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher specifically denounced rioters’ attempts to “undermine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.”

“None of us has ever seen—nor expected to see—such acts on American soil,” Gallagher wrote on Jan. 6. “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.”

Chatham University’s President David Finegold wrote that the unprecedented events at the U.S. Capitol “will serve as the shock that our nation and elected representatives need on how fragile our democracy can be if we don’t live by and respect its core principles, and serve as a call to come together to address the many pressing challenges we face and begin healing the deep divisions in our society.”

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“It is hard not to be affected in some way by the troubling images we have all witnessed from Washington, D.C. over the last few days. We have all endured many troubling images over the last year,” Point Park President Paul Hennigan said. “Violence and disrespect for another person are never the answers to any issue. Point Park recognizes the rights of each individual and values the opportunity to provide an atmosphere where civil discourse and civil disagreement can flourish. These important values must begin from a foundation of respect and civility.”