Members of the University of Oregon leadership team have issued several statements and taken actions to reaffirm the university’s values of supporting equity, inclusion and diversity following concerns raised about strong political rhetoric following the election, recent racist activities around the nation and in Eugene, and the potential for changes to federal immigration enforcement.
Wednesday President Michael Schill and Provost Scott Coltrane issued the following statement:
We have heard from numerous students, faculty, and staff that they are concerned about potential changes to immigration laws, especially as it relates to undocumented students and those covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. We want to be very clear that we support all UO students, regardless of their immigration status.
While it is too soon to speculate on what may happen in the future, the University of Oregon remains committed to DACA and providing an inclusive campus that values global citizenship and engagement.
As is currently our practice, we will treat all students equally in keeping with our values of inclusion, diversity and equity. This also means:
- The University of Oregon will not facilitate immigration enforcement on our campus without a warrant or a clear demonstration of exigent circumstances such as the imminent risk to the health or safety of others;
- The University of Oregon Police Department will not act on behalf of federal officials in enforcing immigration laws;
- The University of Oregon will not share with the federal government any information on the immigration status of students unless required by court order.
Earlier in the week, Schill sent a message to all faculty, staff and students stressing the university’s policies against discrimination, its commitment to inclusion and its support of a respectful campus:
The recent election has stirred up emotions and exposed divisions in our nation. Throughout the country instances of vile speech and threats have proliferated. We at the UO have also experienced some of this behavior over the past two weeks. Indeed, the current political climate and its aftermath have left many members of our community concerned and upset. As I walk through the EMU, I encounter students worried about their safety, their ability to continue their studies in America, and their families.
It may be obvious to many of you, but I want to make crystal clear our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Every person in this university is important and valued. The university’s leadership team stands united in our resolve to do whatever we can to enable every member of our community to flourish and contribute. I also want to make absolutely clear that we condemn any threat or effort to intimidate anyone at the university. We are a community of scholars. Efforts to divide us based upon the color of our skin, our nationality, our immigration status, our abilities, our diversity of thought, our gender, or our sexual orientation must be called out and stopped.
If you feel overwhelmed or troubled, please speak with those around you: our faculty, deans, advisors, staff at the University Counseling Center, Dean of Students office, ombudsperson or many other resources.
If you see me walking through the EMU or elsewhere, stop me and let me know how you are feeling and what ideas you have to ensure we have a welcoming community for all. I hope you will see that you have a lot of people in your corner—starting with me.