The Emory College Faculty Senate stands in solidarity with black students and students of color on campus and nationwide, according to one of two statements the Senate passed during their Dec. 2 meeting.

The Senate also passed a motion for a “Statement on Diversity and Freedom of Expression,” which marked the Senate’s commitment to improving campus’ racial climate, including plans to hire and retain underrepresented faculty.

In the first statement, the Senate pledged to include community members of color in their process and to help “foster a culture where people feel that offenses can be aired, understood and answered.”

“Faculty are concerned with the events unfolding at Emory, at our colleges and universities, and indeed in communities across the country,” wrote History Professor and Senate President Clifton Crais in an email to the Wheel. “I think there is very wide recognition of, and concern about, prejudice, intolerance, and insensitivity.  Inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge, freedom of expression, debate–in short education– cannot unfold successfully in an environment of systemic vulnerability.”

The full motions, provided to the Wheel by Crais, are below:

Motion 04-2015 
Resolution of the Emory College Faculty Senate Statement of Solidarity re: Racial Climate at Emory

We, the members of the Emory College (ECAS) Faculty Senate, stand in solidarity with black students and students of color at Emory University and nationwide. The ECAS Senate agrees that excellence and diversity are mutually constitutive and thus should be actively embraced by the ECAS faculty and administration. Concretely, we will discuss ways to improve the racial climate on campus, including strategies to hire and retain underrepresented faculty in all units of ECAS, as well as curricular and educational diversity initiatives. The Senate pledges to consult with students, staff, administrators, and faculty of color throughout the process. We will also open channels of communication between students and the ECAS Senate and aid with fostering a campus culture where people feel that offenses can be aired, understood, and answered. Finally, the Senate looks forward to working with the administration in their effort to develop concrete proposals and procedures to address this issue.

 Approved by the Emory College Faculty Senate, December 2, 2015.

Motion 05-2015
 Resolution of the Emory College Faculty Senate Statement on Diversity and Freedom of Expression

The ECAS Senate is committed to fostering an environment that supports excellence in education and research for all of our students, faculty and staff. This includes improving the racial climate on campus, strategies to hire and retain underrepresented faculty in all units of ECAS, and curricular and educational initiatives that promote diversity. Diversity includes the diversity of ideas and opinions, debated openly, vigorously, even passionately, in the absence of threats or harassment that may interfere or hinder our fundamental commitment to the principle of freedom of speech that is and shall always remain at the very center of our community. We aspire for all our programs to be fully inclusive and supportive of all members of the Emory community. We affirm the importance of open discussion and free expression on campus, and we vigorously support the rights of all members of our community to freely express their concerns and viewpoints in a safe environment.

Approved by the Emory College Faculty Senate, December 2, 2015.

Correction 12/3 12:15 p.m.: The headline of this article was changed to reflect the fact that the Senate passed a motion to stand in solidarity with black students and students of color.