Faculty assembly votes to assert values

by Shafaq Patel / Beacon Correspondent • March 2, 2017

Faculty members at Tuesday’s Faculty Assembly meeting learned that the make-up day for last month’s snow day will be moved from a Saturday in April to the last weekend in March.

Robert Colby, chair of the faculty council, said in the assembly that the makeup day, originally scheduled for April 8, had to be moved to March 25 because of an Admissions open house planned on the original date.

At the time of writing, the administration had not announced the makeup change to the student body yet.

Faculty members also approved a statement on their shared values about the political climate.

The statement, which passed unanimously, reaffirms that the faculty is committed to a diverse and inclusive society. It references the current climate of the nation and states that the faculty rejects discrimination and bigotry.

Colby said President M. Lee Pelton and Sylvia Spears, vice president for diversity and inclusion, reviewed an earlier draft of the faculty shared values statement. At that time, the preamble of the statement included President Donald J. Trump’s name, but faculty voted to revise it so it would discuss current issues without naming him.

David Emblidge, writing, literature, and publishing associate professor, advocated for the preamble change.

“If the values mean anything, they should essentially be timeless and not attached to any specific political circumstances,” Emblidge said. “I think it would be a stronger overall statement if it was disconnected to whatever is going on in Washington.”

James Sheldon, associate professor in the department of visual and media arts, introduced the idea of the statement after he was inspired by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s declaration.

The statement still needs to be approved by the Board of Trustees before it’s published on Emerson’s website.