The Collegian
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Faculty release post-election values statement

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The Faculty Learning Community on Critical Diversity released a values statement in response to the election before Thanksgiving break, which included a pledge signed by more than 300 students, faculty and staff.

“We stand united against acts of hate and bigotry directed at students and other members of our nation's college and university communities in the wake of the 2016 presidential election,” the statement read. “We pledge to stand up for, support, and defend from intimidation the most vulnerable among us — including members of our community who are undocumented, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims, Jews, other religious minorities, immigrants, the differently abled, and women.”

There were 14 initial signatories from different faculty backgrounds who drafted the statement. Among them was Glyn Hughes, director of Common Ground.

“We were aware of the broader context that was also evident in social media,” Hughes said. “The statement has a link to the Higher Education Chronicle that shows the effects in higher education of bias and the targeting of already marginalized groups."

Hughes said he had heard of minority students being targeted on campus and had thought that a strong statement against those actions and in support of marginalized groups was essential. 

Kerstin Soderlund, the Jepson School of Leadership Studies associate dean for student and external affairs, was not among the initial signatories but was active in spreading the statement to students in Jepson.

“The Jepson School is committed to issues related to social justice, and we have many students in Jepson that are committed to social justice and diversity,” Soderlund said. “I hope, and trust, that across campus the university will continue to support all students, faculty and staff.”

Hughes echoed that sentiment. 

“I hope this statement will be a signal to the marginalized that there is a breadth and depth of support here at the university and that it might pull people together who have a shared commitment to generate discussions of action,” Hughes said. 

He cited faculty discussions about moving to become a sanctuary campus, which is a school that protects its undocumented students, as evidence for this commitment already happening.

Signatures can still be added to the document via a Google Form. It requires an email address, a first and last name and personal affiliation with the university.

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Contact reporter Julia Raimondi at julia.raimondi@gmail.com

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