Are non-tenured non-Hillary-voting Williams College faculty voters being pressured by their senior colleagues? Consider:

Dear Tenured Faculty of Williams College:

In light of the Presidential Election results, a few of us have drafted a letter to President Falk calling on him to declare the College a “‘sanctuary center for higher education’ committed to safeguarding to the best of our abilities the members of its community from unfair deportation, mandatory registration, surveillance, or other intimidation, and committed to providing legal, emotional, and financial support to the most vulnerable members of our community.” Similar efforts are taking place at other institutions, and so we thought we should start with our tenured faculty (though please circulate to other faculty as you see fit). The text of the letter is linked here; please consider signing your name in support of the petition.

In solidarity,
Mérida M. Rúa
Kashia Pieprzak
Mark Reinhardt
Jacqueline M. Hidalgo

1) If you were a non-tenured member of the faculty in, say, Political Science, and your tenured colleague Mark Reinhardt forwarded this message to you, would you feel pressured to sign? I would!

2) What advice would you give to non-tenured faculty? I would tell them to sign, regardless of their actual political beliefs.

3) There is so much nonsense here that I don’t know where to begin:

  • “unfair deportation” — Hasn’t the Barack Obama deported hundreds of thousands of peple?
  • “mandatory registration” — Doesn’t every male US student at Williams have to register for the draft?
  • “surveillance” — Haven’t these professor heard of Edward Snowden? Barack Obama’s NSA has been reading all your e-mails for years.

I am certainly happy to join these professors in their complaints about (at least two of) these three issues. But I am embarrassed that they saw no need to protest as long as a Democrat who they voted for was president. If you are fine with Obama’s surveillance, then you have no grounds to complain when the other side wins an election.

4) Here is the entire letter to Falk:

Dear President Falk,

Thank you for the caring and compassionate message you sent to the Williams community the morning after the election. We particularly appreciate your making clear that, “It is essential that we recommit ourselves today, as American society at large and as a Williams family here, to the fundamental respect and care for each other that underlie all healthy communities.”

Indeed the mission statement of the College affirms this commitment in stating: “To serve well our students and the world, Williams embraces core values such as welcoming and supporting in the College community people from all segments of our increasingly diverse society.” (Board of Trustees 2007).

We believe that now is the time to show how these values yield a sustainable and concrete commitment from the College at large. We worry about the physical well-being of members of this community — students, staff, and faculty — whose safety and security may be compromised due to their legal status, racial profiling, intimidation, or other serious forms of harassment. And to that end, we ask that the College publicly declare itself a “sanctuary center of higher education” committed to safeguarding to the best of our abilities the members of its community from unfair deportation, mandatory registration, surveillance, or other intimidation, and committed to providing legal, emotional, and financial support to the most vulnerable members of our community.

Through these actions, we believe, the College would further its leadership role within both the larger Berkshire community and American higher education.

Sincerely,

Should we spend a few days deconstructing this pap?

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