Local AAUP Calls for Sanctuary Campus

Mitchell Smith, Editor in Chief

Some Whitman faculty have asked the college to join the national Sanctuary Campus movement. On November 28, the Whitman chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) sent an email to the Whitman community with a statement condemning the recent “unprecedented spike” in attacks on minorities around the country and calling on schools around the country to become “Sanctuary Campuses.”

The statement also reaffirmed the AAUP’s commitment to free speech on college campuses and called on president-elect Trump to “Reconsider his appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.”

Whitman politics professor Timothy Kaufman-Osborn is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Whitman chapter of the AAUP and sent the email on behalf of the chapter. The Whitman AAUP chapter was founded in 1922 and while the chapter’s involvement has varied throughout the school’s history, Kaufman-Osborn pointed to the important role it has played.

The Whitman AAUP chapter “has played an indispensable role in securing the college’s commitment to the key principles espoused by the AAUP,” Kaufman-Osborn wrote in an email to the Whitman Wire. “In addition to academic freedom, this includes adoption of due process protections against the dismissal of faculty on grounds unrelated to professional competence, including the expression of controversial political views.”

Last spring, the chapter was re-constituted by a group of faculty members that included Kaufman-Osborn. He pointed towards the sanctuary campus movement as essential to engender a free and open campus.

“The statement’s endorsement of the movement to create sanctuary campuses reflects the AAUP’s commitment to create a campus community in which all of our students, documented as well as undocumented, can freely pursue their educational goals,” Kaufman-Osborn wrote.

The statement concluded:

“We support the movement for sanctuary campuses. While colleges and universities must obey the law, administrations must make all efforts to guarantee the privacy of immigrant students and pledge not to grant access to information that might reveal their immigration status unless so ordered by a court of law.”