- Chapter Support
On November 18, the American Association of University Professors joined the American Federation of Teachers, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and more than 100 other organizations in a letter calling on president-elect Donald Trump to denounce acts of hate on college campuses and elsewhere. AAUP vice president Henry Reichman spoke at a press conference held by the AFT and the SPLC (Reichman appears at the podium in the photo above with AFT president Randi Weingarten at left and University of Michigan postdoctoral fellow Austin McCoy and Nancy Zirkin of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights at right). He said in a statement:
“Colleges and universities must ensure that all members of their communities may seek knowledge freely. No viewpoint or message may be deemed so hateful or disturbing that it may not be expressed. But threats and harassment differ from expressions of ideas that some or even most may find repulsive. They intimidate and silence. Our goal must be to provide safety for both ideas and for all those who wish to engage with them. That is why we in the AAUP join today with others to condemn the wave of hate crimes and threats that have sadly swept too many campuses in the wake of last Tuesday’s election.
“Such incidents have no place in higher education. We call on campus administrations to condemn such actions and to defend the safety and security of students, faculty and staff. We call on our faculty colleagues to defend students of color, Muslim and Jewish students, undocumented immigrant students, women students to study and learn freely.
“While the problems facing higher education can hardly be attributable to a single election, we are concerned that the election of Donald Trump has signaled to some that xenophobia, racism, and misogyny will have free rein. We do not blame Mr. Trump for these outrages; the perpetrators and the perpetrators alone bear responsibility. But we call on the president-elect to more forcefully and loudly condemn all such attacks made in his name.
“The AAUP also pledges to redouble our efforts to:
• Oppose privatization of our public higher education system and fight for education as a common good, accessible and affordable to all.
• Oppose all discrimination and fight for an equitable and welcoming educational environment.
• Oppose attacks on unions and fight for expanding and strengthening the rights of all faculty members to organize and bargain collectively.
• Oppose violations of rights to free expression in the academic community and fight for strengthened protections for academic freedom and shared governance.
“Faculty members, students and college leaders are uniting and organizing with allies and in our communities. We will continue to resist hate and fight for the common good.”
AFT SPLC Letter to Trump on Scribd