The semiannual UFF Senate Meeting was held on the weekend of Feb 18/19 at the Altamonte Springs Hilton. At the meeting, the following four resolutions were passed by the UFF Senate.
1. Support of Immigration and Diversity In Light Of the Recent Executive Order on Immigration and Travel Restrictions
WHEREAS the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) and its members are committed to support ALL of our students, faculty and staff, and people from diverse backgrounds are welcomed by UFF regardless of country of origin, religion or immigration status, we reaffirm that diversity brings our campuses together, and
WHEREAS the UFF and its members further recognize the contribution of our immigrant and international students, faculty, researchers, and staff, who are an indispensable and integral part of the fabric of Florida and the nation’s higher education community, and
WHEREAS the UFF and its members do not discriminate against individuals based on their religion, place of birth, place of origin, nationality, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, or any other protected rights or personal characteristics. UFF and its members are part of a wonderfully diverse community and value diversity including faiths represented on our campuses, and
WHEREAS a crucial part of the pre-eminence of American higher education is openness and inclusivity of global access to American higher education, as well as full American participation in global networks of higher learning,
WHEREAS the UFF and its members are committed to providing a safe, comfortable, respectful and thriving learning environment for ALL of our students, faculty, staff and administration regardless of their religion, place of birth, nation of origin, nationality, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, or any other protected category, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that UFF and its members are committed to the importance of diversity as a source of renewal and vitality, and stands united in support of this moral and legal obligation to our immigrant and international students, faculty, staff, both within our institutions of higher learning and within our communities at large.
BE IT RESOLVED that UFF and its members will not tolerate any policy or activity in any form that harms our diversity including bullying, intimidation, humiliation, or discrimination against our students, faculty and staff that makes them feel unwelcome based on their religion or lack there of, place of birth, nation of origin, nationality, gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, or any other protected category
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any Immigration travel ban Executive Order that threatens the safety and livelihood for some of our students, faculty, and staff and we believe that any executive order that undermines the pursuit of knowledge is a threat to the legal and moral purpose of higher education, and therefore,
WE DEMAND that
- Florida institutions of higher learning maintain the absolute confidentiality of our students and employees information including anything that might imply or define immigration status absent a subpoena or l other lawful order;
- Institutions of higher learning’s Public Safety Officers do not and will not ask about immigration status of members of our university communities
- Institutions of higher learning vigorously uphold privacy protections granted our students, faculty and staff by federal law; and
- Salaries, resources, scholarships and fellowship assistance to non-U.S.-citizens, which is independent of federal financial aid programs, carry on regardless of changes to immigration policies.
- Institutions of higher education make every effort and take all reasonable action to assure that students whose on-campus presence may be interrupted will be able to continue their coursework online, and graduate students whose research and/or scholarship schedule are interrupted will be given appropriate and reasonable accommodation so that grants and scholarships will not be jeopardized or lost.
- UFF affirms its support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in its current form.
2. Statement on the Prison-Industrial Complex
In order to reduce mass incarceration and raise public awareness about the damaging effects of the prison industrial complex, the United Faculty of Florida supports the following actions (1) expose corporations that directly benefit from the prison industrial complex, (2) advocate for the diversion, de-incarceration, and rehabilitation of nonviolent drug offenders, (3) encourage our members to patronize businesses that provide employment opportunities to inmates upon re-entry into the community, and (4) encourage congressional representatives to pass Sentencing Reform Act of 2015.
3. Resolution Opposing Firearms on State University System’s Campuses
Be it resolved that we, the senators of the United Faculty of Florida, strongly oppose proposed legislation that would allow firearms to be carried on university campuses by people other than trained law enforcement officers. We believe that it would be detrimental to the learning environment on campus and would be incompatible with the central mission of Florida’s public universities and colleges. We further believe that it will hurt our ability to attract and retain the best faculty and students to Florida public universities and colleges.
4. Statement on Adjunct Organizing
Now that SEIU is organizing adjuncts in Florida metro areas, the UFF Senate recommends that UFF chapters and leaders cooperate with SEIU so that together the two unions can avoid counterproductive conflict and better represent Florida higher education faculty. The UFF Senate also encourages UFF members and chapters to explore the necessity and possibility of organizing adjuncts where those efforts would not conflict with SEIU. In addition, the UFF Senate encourages UFF state and chapter leaders to find resources to organize adjuncts without taking resources away from recruiting and organizing full-time faculty.