To: Peter Gilkey

From: Lisa Freinkel

Date: 2/25/00

Re: Affirmation of Community

I've tinkered a bit with your excellent draft, offering a few suggestions for changes. Since I can't be at the meeting next week, I thought I'd also write out my rationale for these suggestions. Feel free to share any of them (or none of them) with the ad hoc committee.

  1. Title: I wanted to get the word "affirmation" in there because I think that the thrust of the "pledge" idea was not simply to state (or re-state) the values of our community, but to affirm our commitment toward uphelding them. The difference here is crucial, I think; an affirmation, like a pledge, is a performative document: it not only states what we believe, or what agreement we came to in the past, but announces a present-tense state of commitment. If we get rid of that idea, then it seems to me that we lose that sense of weaving a living document into the fabric of the community. . .
  2. Title: I also changed "values" to "standards" in order to move toward as morally-neutral language as possible. OF COURSE we are drafting a document with moral relevance, but the word "values" seems a bit more iffy, more ideological, to my ear.
  3. I've brought back the idea of choosing to join the community in order to preserve a bit of the intention behind the pledge. These ideas pertain not just to the members of the community who agreed to them (in the past tense), but to any one who, in the future, chooses (and it is a choice) to become a member.
  4. Small difference, but important, I think. I think you may have inadvertently narrowed the scope of the document by prefacing the list of what we agree to do with the idea that this agreement is something we have made in order to respect the rights of others. To my mind, there's more at stake than that. We affirm the standards of the community, our respect for others, and the importance of the following principles. . .
  5. With some hesitation, I changed "reject" bigotry to "tolerate no" biotry because one thing we discussed as we worked on the pledge was the importance of taking a stand against even a passive acceptance of bigotry (by remaining silent, for instance, when a class member spews racial slurs). One can reject something internally, and still tolerate it externally.

  Title: Statement of University of Oregon Community Values University of Oregon Affirmation of Community Standards

Purpose: To set forth and affirm a clear and cogent statement of common community values standards.

The University of Oregon community is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the development of integrity. In order to thrive and excel, this community must preserve the freedom of thought and expression of all its members. A culture of respect that honors the rights, safety, dignity and worth of every individual is essential to preserve such freedom. To respect the

rights and well-being of the members of our community, we have reached agreement to: By choosing to join this community, we affirm our respect for its standards and for the rights and well-being of all its members.

We further affirm our commitment to: