At its Feb. 3, 2017 meeting, The University of Southern Mississippi Faculty Senate voted unanimously in passing a resolution reaffirming religious freedom, designed as an assurance to the university community that people of all religions and nationalities are welcomed and appreciated at USM.
Faculty Senate President Dr. David Holt, an associate professor of geography at the USM Gulf Park campus, said “USM has a very strong non-discrimination policy, and the Faculty Senate wanted to communicate to members of our academic community that they are welcome at USM."
Dr. Susan Hrostowski, a professor of social work and member of the Faculty Senate representing the College of Health, said the resolution “Is an assurance to the entire USM community that people of all religions and all nationalities are welcomed and appreciated here."
The resolution was authored by Dr. Bob Press, associate professor in the USM Department of Political Science, International Relations and International Affairs, and submitted by Faculty Senate’s Welfare Committee. It is as follows:
* “Whereas the United States and all other nations have the right and responsibility to control their borders; and, whereas the issue of immigration to the United States is currently a topic of discussion and debate; and, whereas the United States recognizes the rights of all people to practice their religion in freedom as defined in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate of the University of Southern Mississippi, on behalf of the faculty, wishes to express its support for the right of all people to worship in freedom and without fear; and, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate also wishes to express its appreciation for the students, faculty and staff who have come to the University of Southern Mississippi regardless of their country of origin or religious beliefs.”
“We hope and encourage members of our faculty, staff, and student body to reach out and attempt to understand those who are from other places and/or hold beliefs different than their own,” Holt said. “It is through education that we begin to understand the complex world we all share.”