In February 2017, our lab felt compelled to take a stance against federal border regulation policies that violated the core principles of inclusivity and respect for diversity that are clearly espoused in our university’s policies. Six months later, we have seen atrocious acts of hate and violence unfold on the campus of a peer institution, the University of Virginia. Our lab members stand in unwavering support of calls across universities, our nation, and worldwide for respect, equality, and inclusion. This is vital to our integrity as an academic institution and as a society. Every student, faculty member, staff, and affiliate of the University has the right to an equitable, respectful, peaceful, and intellectually supportive environment. Today UGA President Jere Morehead released a memo that affirmed our community’s commitment to those principles. Thank you, President Morehead.
|From President Morehead’s August 17, 2017 Memo to the UGA Community:”While these [official UGA anti-discrimination] statements meet our legal and regulatory obligations, they go beyond these requirements and reflect our institutional commitment to preventing harassing and discriminatory acts within our University community. This commitment requires each of us to join in this effort to ensure that we all work, study, and live in a fair and respectful campus environment.”|
From February 2012:
I support the statement, and add my own regarding the divisive, counterproductive, and dangerous policy of blanket bans on all travel into the U.S. for nationals of certain countries:
|Our university prohibits “discrimination against any person because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.” Further, “Prohibited bias factors will not be permitted to have an adverse influence upon decisions regarding students, employees, applicants for admission, applicants for employment, contractors, or volunteers or participants in or users of institutional programs, services, and activities.” (UGA EOO) Clearly, banning visa-holding students and scholars from participating in our University has adverse influence on decisions regarding students, employees, and job and school applicants. Thus, the Executive Order banning entry of all nationals of certain countries is in direct opposition to what our University stands for.There is a petition associated with the Executive Committee statement, which university affiliates and interested members of the public may sign, to add their support to this sentiment.Read the opinion statement here, and sign the petition if you wish.|