To: Peter Gilkey
From: Lisa Freinkel
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.
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. . .
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.
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.
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. . .
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.
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
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.
values standards. To respect
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:
Respect the dignity and essential worth of all individuals.
Promote a culture of respect throughout the University community.
Respect the privacy, property, and freedom of others.
Reject Tolerate no bigotry, discrimination, violence,
or intimidation of any kind.
Practice personal and academic integrity and expect it from others.
Promote the diversity of opinions, ideas and backgrounds which is the lifeblood
th any university.