The presidential election has prompted intense concern for the values we hold dear. We have witnessed an increase in acts of hate and intimidation on college campuses and elsewhere, especially against members of immigrant, LGBTQ, and Muslim and Jewish faith communities. In addition, we have seen the anxiety about possible changes to immigration laws and policies and the impact these changes might have on our Dream Act as well as on our international students and faculty members. Colleges and Universities have begun to call students studying abroad back to campuses for fear that changes in federal law may impact the ability of Dream Act and international students to return to the United States. As such, we the faculty in the School of Film and Television affirm the following:
We believe in a University and School committed to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and creative work that provides opportunities for all of our students. We reaffirm our deep and abiding commitment to the education of all of our students and to every member of our diverse academic and creative community. We are honored to teach students of every background and, as their teachers, wish them to know that they are all welcome here.
As scholars and creators working in the field of storytelling, we recognize the importance that diverse viewpoints and experiences bring to the world through creative and scholarly works. We know the power that stories can have, whether told through live-action or animated narrative or documentary films, TV shows, video games, and web series and we are proud of the ways that our faculty, staff, and students have used their talents, skills, and knowledge to address pressing issues confronting the world today.
We know that creative and scholarly work can only flourish in an environment where people feel safe to seek knowledge and explore creative expression freely. To that end, we are in solidarity against any hostile acts and policies that might undermine the safety of any member of our community and are committed to working with colleagues across LMU to ensure that all of our students are able to flourish academically, intellectually, creatively and personally in safety and security.
We are especially concerned for our students who are undocumented and/or come from families of mixed immigration status. We recognize the importance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival act (DACA). We understand that it has allowed young men and women to study at LMU and other institutions without fear of deportation.
We also understand that a suspension of DACA will have dire consequences for these talented, hard-working, and law-abiding young people. We are concerned about the possibility that some of the students who sit in our classrooms, produce exciting creative work, enrich the work of others through their collaboration with their peers and faculty, and bring a depth of experience and perspective to the conversations we have in SFTV may be the target of discrimination, harassment and/or deportation. In addition, changes in immigration law may impact our international students and our various study abroad programs.
To that end, we are committed to working with colleagues across campus to explore actions that can work to ensure that LMU is a sanctuary for all of our students.
Adopted unanimously by the full-time faculty of LMU’s School of Film and Television.