Admin 'regrets' urging students to 'speak against' Trump caravan response (UPDATED)
A UL spokesman confirmed the existence of the email in a statement to Campus Reform, acknowledging it "may have suggested that UofL was taking sides on political issues.”
The vice provost for diversity and international affairs at the University of Louisville urged students in an email to "speak against" some of President Donald Trump's policies.
UPDATE: The vice provost who sent an email encouraging students to "speak against" President Donald Trump's response to the caravan walked back her statement following Campus Reform publishing its original story on Thursday.
"Many students, faculty, and staff have raised concerns about recent issues. While attempting to show support for those members of campus, I inadvertently alienated others. That was not my intent. I regret if my comments suggested that the university was taking sides on political issues. The university does not advocate for any political party, candidate, or positions," a separate email sent to students reads.
Original story below:
A Kentucky university administrator sent a mass email to students in response to the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, encouraging them to “speak against” some of President Donald Trump’s proposed policies.
Mordean Taylor-Archer, vice provost for diversity and international affairs at the University of Louisville (UL), wrote that the campus community has gone through a wide range of emotions following the synagogue massacre.
“To the Campus Community: Many of us have experienced a range of emotions from shock to sadness to outrage by the hate crimes that have taken place with the shootings and killing of innocent victims at the Kroger store in Louisville and the synagogue in Pittsburgh,” Taylor-Archer stated in an email addressed to the campus community. “Although historically and over the past several years, there have been many other lives that have been lost to senseless shootings, we should never be silent in expressing our sympathy to the family and loved ones of those whose lives were taken.”
Taylor-Archer then stated that the campus community cannot be silent in fighting “racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, ethnocentrism, and other 'isms' that are the antitheses of inclusion, social justice, fairness, equity and the tenets on which this country was built.”
The vice provost of diversity went on to say that students “must” speak out against “policies that seek to repress, exclude and deny the rights of others,” which include those that President Trump has proposed.
“These would include the proposed policy that would define gender at birth, acts that separate immigrant children from their parents, and the deployment of [the] military to stop immigrants who traveled thousands of miles to seek freedom and opportunities from entering this country,” Taylor-Archer wrote. “I encourage all of us to stand collectively and individually for the values that lead us to a more just and inclusive society.”
John Karman, director of media relations at the university, confirmed the existence of the email in a statement to Campus Reform, saying that it may have been perceived as UL taking stances on political issues.
“The University of Louisville is proud of its history of promoting social justice, and we continue to strive for diversity, equity and inclusion. That includes diversity of political thought,” Karman said. “Supporting our campus and the community is important during difficult times. Many students, faculty and staff had raised concerns about recent issues, including the shootings only a few miles from our campuses. While attempting to show support, the email sent Wednesday may have suggested that UofL was taking sides on political issues.”
The spokesman stated that the university “does not advocate for any political party, candidate or positions.”
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