US16/17-08: Proposed Senate Resolution: “Reaffirming our Shared Values of Respect for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

Complete Motion

Update: There will be a second resolution proposed on Wednesday,  “DECLARING UO A SANCTUARY CAMPUS”, also under a suspension of the rules. The text will be posted here sometime this evening (Tuesday).

A UO Senate Resolution, proposed for consideration under a suspension of the usual rules for notice, for the Wednesday November 16th Senate meeting (3-5PM, EMU Redwood Auditorium):


Date of Notice: 11/12/2016

Current Status: Passed

Motion Type: Resolution

Sponsor: TBD
SECTION I:

WHEREAS the UO Mission states that our academic community “value[s] our diversity and seek[s] to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community” and it FURTHERMORE values “academic freedom, creative expression, and intellectual discourse.”

WHEREAS the recent national political campaign has exacerbated social tensions and created an atmosphere in which hate speech and other types of aggression have started to escalate.

WHEREAS our President’s IDEAL plan states that “The University of Oregon has three primary priorities – building its academic and research profile; ensuring student access and success; and offering a rich, diverse, and high-caliber educational experience. Diversity, equity and inclusion are integral parts of each of these objectives.”

WHEREAS one of the three specific priorities within the area of diversity, equity and inclusion is “creating a more inclusive and welcoming campus environment for all faculty, staff, and students.”

WHEREAS the Association of American Universities (AAU) has long asserted the importance of diversity to the missions of research universities.

And WHEREAS respected organizations such as the ACLU state that “Universities are obligated to create an environment that fosters tolerance and mutual respect among members of the campus community, an environment in which all students can exercise their right to participate fully in campus life without being discriminated against.”

SECTION II:

Therefore we RESOLVE that:

  1. We are an academic community enriched by the diversity of our students, faculty, staff, and community members. Each individual and group has the potential to contribute in our learning environment. Each has dignity. To diminish the dignity of one is to diminish the dignity of us all.
  1. We oppose discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin and fight for an equitable and welcoming educational environment in which all can freely and safely learn, discuss, differ, debate, and grow.
  1. We endorse the following statement by the Board of Directors of the AAU: “A diverse student body adds significantly to the rigor and depth of students’ educational experience. Diversity encourages students to question their own assumptions, to test received truths, and to appreciate the complexity of the modern world.”
  1. We specifically welcome and foster in our midst a multicultural and international community of students and scholars.
  1. We encourage all university leaders and community members to:

5.1 continue to protect members of our community who have been rendered particularly vulnerable by the bigotry and climate of the recent political campaign;

5.2 speak out loudly and clearly against expressions of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and other bias, and react promptly and firmly to acts of discriminatory harassment;

5.3 create forums and workshops to raise awareness and promote dialogue on issues of race, sex and sexual orientation;

5.4 intensify their efforts to recruit members of racial minorities on student, faculty and administrative levels;

5.5 strengthen our curricula to reflect the diversity of peoples and cultures that have contributed to human knowledge and society, in the United States and throughout the world.

Moved by:

Monique Balbuena (Clark Honors College)

Pedro Garcia-Caro (Romance Languages)

Michelle A. McKinley (Law)

Gina Psaki (Romance Languages) 

44 thoughts on “US16/17-08: Proposed Senate Resolution: “Reaffirming our Shared Values of Respect for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.””

  1. I am not on the Senate, but I would like to fully endorse this motion. Thank you to our reps for working on this; I am proud to be a faculty member of this university.

  2. I am not a member of the senate, but as faculty of this University I fully support and endorse this motion. Thank you to our colleagues who have brought this motion to the floor.

  3. Thank you for this resolution, the result of your collective, informed, and determined efforts on behalf of our campus community. I support our senators’ motion and encourage its passage by the full senate.

  4. Thanks for your hard work in pulling together this resolution in a short period of time.

    Is there anything related to this resolution that we should ask a Senate committee to look into and bring back to the Senate for discussion?

    Are there any fora or workshops that the Senate can facilitate?

  5. In case it isn’t clear, I’m one of those moving the motion, but am no longer on the Senate. Following recent events reported in the media and on social media, however, I agree it’s essential for the Senate to respond.

  6. I very much appreciate this proposed resolution. I wonder if we could make a slight addition, in the spirit of a friendly amendment. That addition would be to make explicit reference to sexual violence.

    Background: I am teaching a fairly large undergraduate course on psychology of trauma (which gives me a particular window into issues impacting our students) and also in touch with many members of the UO community who are in significant distress regarding the specific issue of sexual assault and the way it which it seems to many to have been normalized. This issue goes beyond sexism as commonly understood and specifically into the difficult domain of sexual violence. In the meantime there is very serious concern across the nation among those who have been researching sexual violence, and/or advocating against it, that Title IX-related enforcement of sexual violence on campus in particular will be severely hampered. This is very frightening to researchers and advocates for ending sexual violence. My impression is that we will absolutely need local support in our efforts to end sexual violence and support survivors — more than ever.

    One possible way to build this in to the resolution would be to change:

    5.2 speak out loudly and clearly against expressions of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and other bias, and react promptly and firmly to acts of discriminatory harassment;

    TO

    5.2 speak out loudly and clearly against expressions of racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and other bias, and react promptly and firmly to acts of discriminatory and/or sexual harassment or violence;

    1. Jennifer, will you contact the movers of the motion and try to get your proposed language into the motion before it gets onto the floor of the Senate. I think this will be easier than dealing with it as an amendment.

  7. I am not on the Senate, but as a faculty member and museum director, I fully endorse this motion. Many thanks!
    Jon Erlandson
    Professor of Anthropology
    Executive Director, Museum of Natural & Cultural History

  8. I support this motion. Moving forward, can we be more bold and brainstorm specific actions and demands, such as:
    –Demand the administration commit resources towards protecting undocumented students and differently-documented (e.g. DACA) students, as well as international students and students (and scholars) with other types of visas – that they will be protected and allowed to graduate (keep their job, if faculty or staff) even when/if a Trump Administration rescinds their legal status.
    -Demand greater investment in Area Studies, Humanities, WGS, Ethnic Studies, and International Studies programs at UO. Specifically, demand funds for the development of courses where we reach beyond the university out into Oregon’s many and diverse communities. My ideas along these lines are: rural-urban courses (maybe online, or through field visits to eastern and southern Oregon communities, for example). The “outside-in” course in Sociology could be a model. Basically, develop new courses that aim to build dialogues and understanding across cultural/racial/ethnic/class/gender/racial and other lines of social difference.
    -Demand a research pool of funding to supports university-community collaborative research projects aimed to build cross-cultural/race/education/class lines and foster dialogue and concrete actions towards building more inclusive, multicultural, welcoming, tolerant, participatory Oregon communities.
    In short, I hope we can find way to leverage this political moment to be much more bold in what we do not just inside but also outside the university to build the type of inclusive and tolerant, multicultural society that we want to live in and that is under attack now.
    Just a few ideas, respectfully submitted.

  9. Thank you for writing the resolution. I am fully endorsing this motion. The message above clarifies what needs to be done in a practical manner. We need to demand the UO administration to support our students who are most vulnerable and also international communities at the UO with various types of visas. I am also totally supporting to demand strongly for a greater investment in various disciplines to promote diversity within and beyond the UO. This election result is a wake up call, mildly put, and I hope we are moving toward a constructive and inclusive direction for the better future.

    Gyoung-Ah Lee
    Assistant professor in Anthropology

  10. Thank you for the thoughtful work in putting this motion together. As a faculty member, I endorse this motion in order to promote a safe and inclusive campus. I hope we can pressure our administration to promote diversity and protect our most vulnerable students, including undocumented and international students.

    Daniel Gomez Steinhart
    Assistant Professor
    Media Studies and Cinema Studies

  11. I fully support and endorse this motion. Thanks to those who drafted it. I also support the amendments and excellent ideas put forth by Jennifer Freyd and Kristin Yarris. I am not a member of the Senate.

    Derrick Hindery, Associate Professor, International Studies

  12. Thank you for crafting and proposing this motion. I strongly support the motion and the suggestions laid out by other colleagues at UO. As a faculty member (not in the Senate), I hope the Senate approves the motion and helps UO move forward towards an inclusive environment for all.
    respectfully,
    Angela Joya, assistant prof., International Studies

  13. Thank you for this resolution as a starting point for many other concrete actions. There are some excellent suggestions above about courses we can offer soon, linking to community organizations and more. Here are a couple of other ideas.

    A discussion about requiring all students, faculty, administrators, and staff to receive
    an education on the history of blackface in the U.S., the history of white supremacy
    and of anti-black racism.
    Discuss specifically how the University of Oregon can take a pro-active
    stance to protect and support undocumented students, students with undocumented family members,and
    Muslim students. Our president could issue a public statement similar to that of Janet Napolitano.

    UC system Chancellor Janet Napolitano issued an immediate public statement of support for undocumented students. Other campuses are considering being sanctuaries for undocumented students, sending letters to their administrators, such as at University of Wisconsin. Link to UW letter: ttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdG3TFFkbU2OVrYOwW3WrhECTJJ6hXjvdkvoxhsJW9pUZIzsw/viewform?embedded=true

    Link to story on Janet Napo;itano
    http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article113780763.html

    Link to article on universities protecting undocumented students
    ttps://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/13/undocumented-students-university-protection-trump-california
    Respectfully,

    Lynn Stephen
    Professor, Department of Anthropology

    1. Lynn, can you work with the movers of this motion to see if they are interested in folding in some of your suggestions before the motion gets to the floor on Wednesday? It would be easier to start with those inclusions (to the extent that the current movers agree) than to put them in as amendments during debate.

    2. I want to suggest that we put forward the Senate resolution as it is written and get it passed on Wednesday. Then we can move on to some other steps.

      Quite a number of faculty are working on a petition for UO to be a Sanctuary Campus for undocumented students and families, a process being asked for at two dozen universities or more. There is also a meeting this week about having Eugene declared a Sanctuary City. My hope would be that we can pass a separate Senate Resolution on UO as a sanctuary as well as a resolution on required education on the history of blackface, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy in the U.S. and Oregon.

  14. No need to be on the Senate to comment here. We want to hear the voices of all campus constituencies. Encourage your colleagues, students and unit staff to participate in this (and any) conversation here.

    Thanks!

  15. I strongly support this resolution, especially noting support for the suggestions Lynn Stephens proposes.

    Doris Payne
    Prof. of Linguistics &
    Director of African Studies

  16. As a UO doctoral student and graduate employee, I fully support and endorse this motion. Thank you very much to those who drafted it. I also support the ideas put forth by Jennifer Freyd, Kristin Yarris, and Lynn Stephens and hope this motion will establish the building grounds for UO to embrace a position of leadership in our local community and nationally.

    Mariko Plescia, Romance Languages graduate student

  17. I would like to thank fellow Senator Pedro Garcia-Caro and colleagues Monique Balbuena, Michelle A. McKinley, and Gina Psaki for taking the initiative in crafting a Resolution on Diversity and Inclusion. I find the Resolution to be a timely and much needed reaffirmation of our core values at the University, and I fully support it. I am also pleased to share that my home Department of Philosophy has voted in favor of endorsing the Resolution. We are currently preparing a public statement to be posted on our website later this week which reflects some of the language of the Resolution.

    Respectfully,

    Beata Stawarska
    Professor of Philosophy

  18. As a faculty member, I very strongly support this motion and thank my colleagues for their thoughtfulness and quick action.

    I would suggest adding “religion” and “nationality” to:

    5.3 create forums and workshops to raise awareness and promote dialogue on issues of race, sex and sexual orientation;

    I

  19. I am a faculty member and support this motion.
    I agree with Lynn’s suggestions and hope they can be folded into the motion before Wednesday. Thank you to my colleagues who have set this important work forward.

    Gina Herrmann
    Associate Professor
    Romance Languages

  20. I am not a member of the senate, but as a faculty member I fully support and endorse this motion. Thanks to our colleagues who crafted this motion.

    Heather Quarles
    Romance Languages

  21. I also heartily endorse the resolution and proposed amendments. Thanks to the movers for bringing this important issue to the Senate.

    David Vázquez
    Associate Professor and Head
    English Department

  22. We endorse the timeliness and responsiveness of this resolution in defense of our shared values as an inclusive community. The two of us represent historically disenfranchised groups of racial minorities, sexual minorities, recent immigrants, and lower socio-economic backgrounds. With the recent spate of hateful speech and acts of intimidation, we viscerally feel the fear that many people on campus, in our families, and in our communities have experienced. We endorse a statement of solidarity and support for those who feel vulnerable.
    However, we also feel that, if we are to pursue a vision of true inclusiveness in our campus community, we must also reach out to those who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Both of us have had the experience of teaching undergraduates and graduate students who come from smaller, rural areas, and many of them are the first in their family to attend university. We ourselves have experienced bias and discrimination that was due as much to our socio-economic class as it was due to our racial and sexual identities. Such students also experience feelings of alienation in an institute of higher education such as ours. If we are to heal the raw divides that separate us as a community, if we are to be united by a common ethical purpose, the two of us strongly feel that we must reach out to all communities and constituencies who feel vulnerable and alienated.
    Amid the nastiness of this tragic election campaign was a revelation of a nation plunged in pain and suffering. While the kinds of pain different people have experienced have been distinct, as teachers of all our students, we feel it is morally imperative to listen and reach out to as many testaments of pain, alienation, and hardship our students are facing.

    Roy Chan and Luke Habberstad, East Asian Languages and Literatures

  23. I would like to add my support to the chorus of voices that have already noted how important this resolution is. Thank you to those who helped to craft it.

    Derek Burdette
    The History of Art and Architecture

  24. I strongly support the proposal as written, circulated, discussed, and already endorsed by many individuals and units, and I give thanks to Monique Balbuena, Pedro Garcia-Caro, Michelle A. McKinley, and Gina Psaki for developing the draft resolution. I have heard that one projected outcome of the resolution’s adoption will be available groundwork for quick and unhindered action to protect DACA students, and this for me justifies a suspension of the rules and so limited discussion and deliberation. I would rather the amendments—all of them important—go through our usual careful processes. One exception might be Professor Gilman’s amendment to include “religion” and “nationality” in section 5.3 because these seem specifically germane and in fact integral to the practical aims of the resolution.

    Thanks, too, to Roy Chan and Luke Habberstad for their important contribution here.

    Jim Crosswhite
    English

  25. Dear Colleagues,
    I fully support the proposal, as well as the elaborations contributed by several of you. Thank-you for your thoughtful, creative and constructive response to a situation that tries all of us. I am a member of the faculty, but not of the senate.
    Kathie Carpenter, International Studies

  26. The International Studies Department, by consensus and with deep concern, strongly endorses the proposed Resolution on Diversity and Inclusion.

    Dennis Galvan
    Derrick Hindery
    Angela Joya
    Anita Weiss
    Stephen Wooten
    Kristin Yarris
    Kathie Carpenter, Department Head, International Studies

  27. I strongly support this statement and appreciate the energy of our senators in crafting it. I also strongly support a second resolution laying out concrete steps toward action for protection of our students. I am not a member of the senate.

    Melissa Graboyes
    Clark Honors College
    Assistant Professor of History

  28. The UO English Department unanimously endorses the Senate resolution. We express thanks and solidarity to Professor García-Caro, Professor McKinley, and Professor Balbuena for drafting the motion.

    In solidarity,

    David Vázquez
    Associate Professor and Head
    English Department

  29. This is a bit awkward, since I am one of the makers of the motion, but I am glad to report that the Honors College has also voted and unanimously endorsed this Senate motion.

  30. As a member of the UO Committee on Sexual Orientation, Attraction, Gender Identity and Expression as well as a member of the Faculty Working Group for Inclusive and Intercultural Teaching, I support and endorse this measure. I also strongly encourage including some of the language others here have included in the above comments.

    Julie Voelker-Morris, Arts & Administration Faculty (non-Senate)

Leave a Reply