Thank you to the Chancellor for his good words from last week: “As we reflect at the conclusion of one of the most rancorous presidential elections in memory, I want to reaffirm that our campus remains wholly committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion and respect for all. We celebrate difference in all of its forms and continue to strive for a campus climate where all are welcome. Our adherence to these values is especially important as we emerge from a period when the public discourse has been divisive and hurtful to so many members of our community.”
We, the undersigned members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst community, think it is a good time to reiterate the sentiment embodied in the UMass Nondiscrimination Policy: “The University of Massachusetts Amherst prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in employment and application for employment. Furthermore, University policy includes prohibitions of harassment of students and employees, i.e., racial harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation for filing complaints of discrimination.”
In keeping with this commitment, we would like to inquire about the concrete ways in which the University will provide for the safety and security of students, faculty, and staff who may lose legal protections for their immigration status or face other serious threats and forms of discrimination.
We respectfully suggest that the University declare itself a “sanctuary center of higher education” committed to protecting the members of its community from unfair deportation, investigation, or other intimidation.