University responds to Capitol breach, Welcome Week events postponed



Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

UPDATED Jan. 6, 2021 5:54 p.m.

President A. Gabriel Esteban told the DePaul community in an email regarding the Capitol breach Wednesday night.

‘Today’s unprecedented events in the nation’s capital reveal just how precious and fragile our democracy actually is,” Esteban wrote in the email. “The shocking scenes provide a disturbing portrait of division and distressing outcomes of a nation at risk of being torn apart.”

“We pray that peace is restored to Washington, D.C., and ask our own community for calm and patience as the events continue to unfold,” he continued. “We pray and commit to protect and defend the gift of democracy. We pray for a peaceful transition of power. As our patron Vincent de Paul advocated for peace and non-violence, so do we pray and work for the resilience of peace, democracy and hope”

The email encouraged students to seek support and “pledge anew care” to each other, listing a number of resources available for students.

DePaul’s Office of Student Involvement will also postpone all Winter Welcome Week events for Wednesday and Thursday due to the outbreak of a violent mob at Capitol Hill, spurred to action by words from President Donald Trump, the office announced on Twitter Wednesday.

The mob raided Capitol Hill to attest the election results, many of which were able to get into the Senate Chamber with minimal police interaction, according to the Associated Press. 

The Winter Involvement Fair will still take place as scheduled but with focus on processing the events in the capital.

“Given the unfolding events in Washington, we understand that students’ attention may be elsewhere,” said Courtney James, director of the Office of Student Involvement. 

Instead of the traditional involvement fair, students will have the opportunity to process and discuss recent events. 

“The Winter Welcome Week events we decided to move were mostly events designed to educate DePaul students on resources and opportunities around the university,” James said. “Moving them to a later date still allows students the opportunity to learn about those resources while also creating time for them to join in on dialogues surrounding the unfolding events in Washington if they so desire.”

Student Affair staff will also be available to speak with student organizations for additional support. 

Spirit Shirts will be postponed to Jan. 14. The university has not released an official statement as of the publication of this story. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.