Thursday, June 29, 2023

SCOTUS Decision

SCOTUS Decision

Today’s Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative action in college admissions is very disappointing, but it is not surprising. As I wrote last month, in anticipation of this day, I was a signatory from among LACRELA (Liberal Arts College Equity Leadership Alliance) presidents in an open letter voicing our opposition to this ruling and outlining strategies to improve access for all students to our institutions. You can read more about those strategies here.

For decades no student has been denied or granted admission to Susquehanna based upon their race. This is true at the majority of colleges and universities in the U.S. We do many things to recruit a talented and diverse student population to our campus. That diversity enhances the learning opportunities for all our students, and it prepares them to be better leaders in the evermore diverse communities they will call home after graduation.

At Susquehanna University, our mission is to educate students for productive, creative, and reflective lives of achievement, leadership, and service in a diverse, dynamic, and interdependent world. A diverse student body is integral to that mission. As LACRELA’s open letter states, holistic review of applicants is critical to recruiting a well-rounded class — from racial and ethnic diversity, to gender and geographic representation, to socioeconomic diversity. We strive to create a culture on our campuses that mirrors the world our graduates are entering.

We know that the single most powerful thing a person can do to improve their economic position is to get a college degree. In order for colleges and universities to fulfill our promise of economic and social mobility, we must continue rectifying the systemic barriers that have kept so many talented students of color out of higher education. This is what we are called to do.

Although today’s Supreme Court ruling is disheartening, Susquehanna will continue the important work of expanding access to the transformative experience of a college education and ensuring that students from minoritized populations feel they belong here and thrive.


Friday, June 2, 2023

Happy Pride Month!


June has become a dedicated time to lift up our friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family members who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is an opportunity to recognize the obstacles these individuals and groups have overcome, and sadly, it is also an occasion to shine a light on obstacles that remain.


Pride Month began with the Stonewall Riots that followed a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in lower Manhattan, in late June 1969. These riots were a watershed moment of advocacy that continued to be celebrated over the coming years. In 1999, President Clinton officially declared June to be Pride Month.


The past few years have been especially challenging for the LGBTQ+ community and all of us who love them, because fundamental human freedoms are being challenged around the world and in our own nation. These challenges are driven by pernicious ignorance and, sadly, hate.


We know better. As we reflect on what has been accomplished to support LGBTQ+ rights over the past decades, and as we confront efforts to reverse that progress, I encourage each of us to recommit to assuring that all members of our community can fully express their authentic selves and openly love whom they love without fear, without judgement, and without hesitation. We are who we are, and love is love.


We all deserve to express our identities freely and to celebrate the love and care of the partners of our choice fully. For many, this sadly remains a daunting proposition, and one that is being hatefully challenged in many corners of our nation today. It is my hope that we will relegate those challenges to the past.


Our LGBTQ+ neighbors who are out are invaluable role models for our community by being true to themselves and to us. Our student and faculty and staff affinity groups, like GSA, provide opportunities to celebrate and reflect, and they foster joy-filled opportunities for all members of our community to be proud of who they are. I am grateful for their example, and I am so proud of their courage and integrity. Happy Pride Month!


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