Proposal 17-20


The University Senate of Michigan Technological University


Proposal 17-20

(Voting Units: Full Senate)


“Senate Resolution on Promoting and Facilitating Tolerance and Understanding at Michigan Technological University”


Introduced by: Senator Sam Sweitz, Department of Social Sciences


  1. Introduction


Over the past several years there have been multiple incidents, both on and off campus, involving acts of discrimination, marginalization, and harassment against individuals within our community.  These incidents must not be treated simply as isolated events, to be dealt with individually, and reactively as they occur.  Rather, we as a University community necessarily must be proactive in promoting tolerance and understanding.  Toward this end, there are individuals and groups engaged in this important work across campus and in our wider community, and the University Senate should lend its voice and capacity for action to these efforts.



  1. Resolution


As members of the University Senate, we recognize our leadership responsibility in working with other campus entities, e.g. the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, to mutually ensure a safe, respectful, and accepting campus environment for all.  The University Senate, is not only the “the principal forum for discussion of any matters of interest to the university community” (Constitution and Bylaws of the University Senate of Michigan Technological University, Article III: 1.), it also “has the responsibility to review, make recommendations, initiate, and participate in the formulation of policy and procedures,” including those pertaining to “all areas of student affairs,” “administrative procedures and organization,” and “institutional priorities” (Constitution and Bylaws of the University Senate of Michigan Technological University, Article III: 6., iv., b.).  Tasked with this important policy making and oversight role, it is imperative that the University Senate take a more active role in creating, enacting, and reviewing policies, procedures, and initiatives that address discrimination and promote tolerance on this campus.   


Therefore, in keeping with Michigan Tech’s commitment “to a diverse and inclusive community of and for scholars that is conducive to excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni” (Michigan Technological University Diversity Statement), the University Senate proposes to establish an Ad hoc Committee on Promoting and Facilitating Tolerance and Understanding to review the Senate’s role in promoting tolerance on campus, to recommend potential policies, procedures, and initiatives to address intolerance on campus,  and to explore effective means of liaising with the Administration, as well as other committees and groups committed to similar actions on campus.  This committee will begin working in the Spring 2020 semester, with a goal of presenting some preliminary findings to the University Senate by the end of the Senate term.  It is expected that this committee will necessarily continue working into the 2020-2021 Senate term.


In recognition of our commitment to working toward a better campus community, the University Senate also affirms the following statement:   


In consideration of past and recent events on this campus and in our community, the University Senate recognizes the need to address the broader pattern of marginalization, harassment, and discriminatory acts that have continued to target individuals in our community on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexuality, age, and/or disability.  We at Michigan Tech are a community.  Harmful behavior toward any individual or group within our community is harmful to us all, and ultimately diminishes us all.  As the representative voice for faculty and staff on this campus, the University Senate is resolved to address these issues directly; taking a leading role in initiating focused and deliberate action to create a safe and inclusive campus community for all.