George Washington University Supports D.C. Statehood With No Indication of a Faculty, Student Vote
“As one of the oldest institutions in the city, the university may have legitimately wanted to be heard on the question.”
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This isn’t surprising but one has to wonder how George Washington would feel about it.
Professor Jonathan Turley writes at his blog:
George Washington University Declares Support For D.C. Statehood
George Washington University President Thomas LeBlanc surprised many faculty members yesterday with a public declaration of the university for making the 51st state. There is considerable support for statehood at the university but there is no indication that the faculty voted on such a declaration and there is no indication that even the Board as a whole voted on the matter. Some of us have long maintained that, regardless of the merits of a political measure, the university should avoid speaking for the entire institution out of respect to myriad of different voices and views represented in our community.
This could well be a question upon which we should abandon our traditional neutrality as an institution and speak as one voice. As one of the oldest institutions in the city, the university may have legitimately wanted to be heard on the question. Yet, even when the school chooses to do so, faculty governance values warrant that the faculty should be given an opportunity to be heard. The staff and students also deserve to be heard as part of this process. This specific legislation has been pending for months and we could have presented the matter to the faculty, staff, and students for their input.
If we did, I am not aware of it and the university did not suggest that such a vote was ever taken by the community. I have asked other faculty who were also unaware of any vote by the faculty, students or staff. The university itself could not cite any prior vote after an inquiry. The result is not necessarily different but the process is important. I would feel the same way (indeed more so) if the University announced opposition to D.C. statehood without faculty, staff, and student participation.
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The designation of DC was expressly intended NOT to form the federal government under any specific statehood jurisdiction. If you want state level representation, move 5 miles in any direction and you are in a state.
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