Faculty at Obama alma mater resolve to challenge Trump

The Faculty Council at one of Barack Obama’s alma maters has vowed to challenge the “positions and policies of President Trump” at every turn.

In a recent statement published by the Occidental College Faculty Council, in conjunction with the Dean’s Office, professors at Obama’s former college assert their commitment to “challenging positions and policies of President Trump and his administration,” especially those that “advance bigotry, discrimination, and hate.”

Consequently, the faculty members declare their support for “the declaration of Occidental College as a sanctuary” while denouncing any of President Trump’s “positions and policies that violate core Occidental College values, including the right to free, open, and respectful exchange of ideas, as well as creative expression, science, and evidence and reason-based inquiry.”

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The resolution was partly inspired by a recent letter penned by the school’s science faculty, who wrote “out of concern for the future of science in the United States of America,” referencing a laundry list of scientific consensuses that Trump has allegedly “denied.”

Moreover, the science department statement alleges that the President “and some of his appointees have endorsed racism, misogyny, ableism, anti-LGBTQIA rhetoric, and religious bigotry,” calling on the Trump administration to “select only well-qualified scientists and others who respect the vital role of scientific knowledge in decision-making for positions of authority in agencies that fund and regulate science.”

Notably, while the letter was sent to the Trump administration with signatures of just 28 Occidental faculty members, school President Jonathan Veitch, and even its Board of Trustees, have also joined in on the action, unanimously declaring the institution a “sanctuary campus” in January.

“I’m pleased to report that on Monday (1/23) the Board of Trustees unanimously voted in support of the guiding values, principles, and actions outlined in this statement,” Veitch wrote, outlining the ways in which Occidental would refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement agencies in order to “more clearly define our commitment as a sanctuary campus.”

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Additionally, Veitch announced a March “symposium” for illegal immigrant students that “will bring together subject matter experts, immigration advocacy groups, and [his] counterparts at other California colleges and universities” to plan how they “can work together and create a powerful collective voice.”

The latest statement from the Faculty Council cites the sanctuary campus declaration, saying it supports the designation and “commits to work actively with all stakeholders to translate [it] into specific actions.”

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