School officials at the University of Colorado Boulder sent a memo to faculty and staff outlining that holding the values of the Black Lives Matter movement is a “non-negotiable condition of enrollment.”
Campus Reform reported that a handful of school officials signed off on the memo sent on June 5, despite the school previously saying a “fundamental role of a university” is to encourage free speech.
The memo was signed by the vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and community engagement, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Akirah Bradley, and Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance and Title IX Coordinator Valerie Simons and described supporting the Black Lives Matter movement as a “non-negotiable condition of enrollment and employment,” according to the news outlet.
“We value and support the principles of academic freedom and free expression, which are central to our academic mission. Upholding these principles is not mutually exclusive from the idea that we have a responsibility, as an academic community, to embrace, acknowledge and promote equal access and inclusion to all who come to our campus to pursue their academic, research and career goals,” spokeswoman Deborah Mendez-Wilson told Campus Reform in response to the memo.
“At the same time, to be in alignment with our values as a university and to comply with federal and state laws and university policies, we will not condone discriminatory or harassing behavior toward individuals, and welcome people who don’t agree with those values to reconsider whether they want to be part of our community,” Mendez-Wilson added.
The school has also sent other memos addressing racism amid Black Lives Matter protests that have spread across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death while he was in police custody on Memorial Day.
“In response to incidents of racist and discriminatory speech in our campus community, I want to be clear—racist and discriminatory speech runs counter to our values and is not welcome at CU Boulder,” CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano, wrote, according to Campus Reform.
“While as a public institution we must acknowledge each person’s First Amendment right to free speech, we strongly encourage anyone who doesn’t want to or believes they cannot live our values of respecting the rights of others and accepting our differences to reconsider their ability to be a productive member of our community,” he added.