Jessica Rice signed Defend Diversity at UT-Knoxville: Veto SB1912 via Chris Purcell 2016-04-22 07:40:18 -0500Cultural toleration and appreciation is an important aspect of identity development among college students. Without the services this office provides, the students may achieve lower levels of gains in various vectors of development, as they are all interconnected. College students are the future of our state and our country, we need to ensure that they develop into the best version of themselves and become wise leaders who are inclusive of all. Additionally, international students utilize the services of this office to integrate better into the campus culture and to access needed resources that they may need to be sucessful and thrive as individuals. If we defund UT diversity, this will discourage all students who identify differently than the white majority from attending school at UT and all other colleges in TN as this sets a dangerous precedent for other Institutions. This will not only be a loss of culture and ideas, but will have a huge negative impact on the local economy. Idaho State currently has only 1200 international students and many countries are withdrawing scholarships to allow their student to attend a ISU . It is estimated that the local economy would lose nearly $400 million dollars that International students contribute to the economy. Can you imagine a school much larger, like UT, and the economic impact that driving out diversity would have on the state’s flagship college? This bill needs to be vetoed for the sake of our students and our state. We have recently seen other states pass laws that allow discrimination and limits the rights of others. The national and international backlash that these states are receiving from countries, states, political leaders, cities, corporations, businesses, and individuals is significant and has already begun to negatively impact their community. These laws will be a stain on the reputation of these states forever and will one day be considered a dark spot in their history. Please do not let the Volunteer state see this same fate. The definition of a volunteer is a person who expresses a willingness to undertake a service. A volunteer does not discriminate on who to serve and does not try to oppress those who they disagree with. A volunteer works for the common good and defunding the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee will in no way be a step towards achieving the common good or promote the ideals that we as Tennesseeans and Volunteers ascribe to. Please veto this bill and allow students to receive a well-rounded education, which by research is shown to occur both in-the-classroom and outside-the-classroom. This office and it’s work is integral to the functioning of the University and the overall development of its students. Please disregard your personal or partisan feelings about the situation and do what is best for the students and the future of our state.
The Legislature passed SB1912/HB2248 that removes funding from the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Sign this petition that we will deliver to Governor Haslam asking him to veto the bill.2,097 signatures
Governor Haslam, we call on you to veto SB1912/HB2248 and protect the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The office plays a vital role in making the university competitive for the best students, faculty, and staff and it makes campus life welcoming for all. Thank you for considering our views.