Message from USA’s Executive Board regarding call to make UMass a sanctuary campus 11/16/16

Dear USA members,

At 3pm today, students will be staging a walkout in conjunction with over 130 other campuses to demand that the Chancellor Subbaswamy declare UMass Amherst a Sanctuary Campus. Several letters in support of this action have been circulated this week by students and faculty.

In accordance with the non-discrimination article of the agreement between the University Staff Association and the University of Massachusetts, University policy, and the resolution against racism and bigotry adopted by the University Staff Association’s Executive Board on April 12th 2016, we support the campus community in its demand for UMass Amherst to declare itself a “sanctuary center of higher education” and reiterate the call for the Chancellor to work with students, faculty, staff, and their respective unions to ensure the safety and security of our campus community for those who may lose legal protections for their immigration status or face other serious threats and forms of discrimination.

Below is our the text of our resolution against racism and bigotry:

Whereas, the campus community at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has suffered cowardly acts of racism and intolerance, most recently the Islamophobic message painted on the Fine Arts Center; and

Whereas, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim rhetoric has become increasingly prevalent; and

Whereas, we recognize that this rhetoric and these hateful messages serve to harm or intimidate us or many of our brothers, sisters, co-workers, and students with whom we share not only this campus but this world; and

Whereas, it is our duty and obligation to come together collectively to defend the members of this bargaining unit from discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, and mental or physical disability;

Therefore, we condemn this most recent graffiti and all other acts of racism, intolerance, or discrimination and pledge to the best of our ability to support and protect those in our ranks and on campus from such abuses.

-Resolution adopted by the Executive Board of the University Staff Association, April 12th 2016

In solidarity and Peace,

Donna Johnson

President USA