What recruiting efforts have been made to increase diversity amongst faculty members, specifically sexuality. As a "Christian" institution the university takes a certain position regarding sexuality. Yet, there are Christians who do not take the same stance, and course, there are Christians who also identify as queer. Many who would be great professors. Do queer faculty exist without hiding. Is this not an injustice and a form of oppression that should be addressed by a loving Christian school?
I too have sent messages asking legitimate questions to this page and the lack of response, either here or on the facebook page is really sad. The number one criticism I hear of your movement is the lack of transparency; what are you doing, who with, why, and what is actually changing behind the scenes? If you truly speak for people of color, we need to know what is going on. As it stands, you hold unprecedented power and are using it in ways we know not.
Still waiting for queer representation on campus, especially for queer womxn of color. Why do Christian institutions continue to denounce our experiences and stories? Why do hetero/cissexist traditions, policies, & curriculums continue to be allowed to flourish? I've had enough of this bullshit. It's exciting to see you all taking up the cause and standing in solidarity with MRC student coalition. Glad to see you all are making moves here at SPU too. Hoping that tangible change can come about.
It's kind of disheartening to have sent two messages to this page- asking genuine questions of mission and goals in respects to actual tangible things and have yet to be replied to- posted about- nothing.
On the topic of diversity it is important that the issue of sexuality be brought up. Staff and faculty members are required to sign a statement that says "We believe it is in the context and covenant of marriage between a man and a women that the full expression of sexuality is to be experienced and celebrated and that such a commitment is part of God's plan for human flourishing." This language is marginalizing to those who don't fall into the category of cisnornatovity. How is this just?
I am an alumnus of SPU (Class of 2000). I am white.
My four years at SPU was a time of incredible personal growth as a young Christian. My mentors and professors broadened my outlook on faith and encouraged me to examine the ways that my embodied faith impacted the world around me. I found my career calling as an artist at SPU and was encouraged to pursue that calling despite the fact that it was not a “practical choice”. SPU was the first place where I interacted in a meaningful way with other Christians who didn’t agree with me.
I learned SO MUCH at SPU.
But I never learned about structural racism, systematic injustice, and white privilege. In my ignorance, I participated in the same micro-aggressions that the SPU Coalition is currently protesting against. I don’t think this website is necessarily the place for white people confessions, so please feel free to remove this story if its taking up too much room, but I offer this story as an example of why I feel that the changes which the SPU Coalition of Justice is calling for are so important.
At the beginning of my freshman year, my roommate was a young African American student. We were very nice to each other, but never really got close. I assumed it was because we didn’t have much in common. I never considered that part of the problem was my own discomfort. I had never had a black friend before.
In an effort to engage with my roommate, I invited her to come see a play with me that the SPU Theatre department was putting on. The play was a satire about the hypocrisy of America and one of the topics was racism. I didn’t prepare my roommate for this. I didn’t even consider it. She found the play incredibly upsetting and I had no idea why. She was too polite to say anything about it to me. I could sense something was wrong, but was too scared to ask. We never talked about it. She was so upset that she wrote her parents about it. They came up to talk to the theatre department about it, but I didn’t hear this until much later.
My roommate didn’t stay at SPU. I don’t know all the reasons that went into her choice to transfer to another school, but I think that some of them had to do with the fact that she did not feel welcome. There were so few people at SPU who could identify with her story.
It is because of experiences like this that I was so proud of SPU when the John Perkins Center was created. I was so glad when I read about the Reconciliation Minor in the theology department. And I am so grateful to the SPU Coalition for Justice for pushing our community even beyond these measures to take steps to address cultural insensitivity in both faculty and students. How amazing would it be if every student, staff & faculty member had the tools to engage with other people’s stories?! If they had the training to change the cultural trends of white privilege that still invade the campus and to be truly, radically counter cultural–so that no student of color would feel unwelcome or unvalued. How I wish I had those tools when I was a freshman.
I am proud to be an alumnus of SPU. I am proud of you all for addressing this issues with courage. Thank you for calling our community to live fully into our mission to “change the world.”