Vanderbilt’s Double Standards

 In Constitutional Rights, Religion, Uncategorized

Below is a copy of the letter Dean Mark Bandas sent to the student body about the op-ed I published in the Tennessean.  Christian students received no such support when they were kicked off campus a few years ago for being the wrong kind of Christians.  This is a perfect opportunity for alumni, trustees, students, and members of the community to fight for the reinstatement of the Christian groups who no longer have rights of religious expression.

Bandas’ Letter to the Vanderbilt Student Body:

I have heard from many of you about your concerns regarding an opinion piece about Islam, written by a member of the Vanderbilt faculty, and published this morning in The Tennessean.  Throughout the day, I have received expressions of concern from faculty, students, and staff who value our Muslim students and their membership in our community.

To our Muslim students who have told me that you have felt welcome and safe at Vanderbilt until you read this piece, I want to assure you that the Vanderbilt which you chose and have made your home, has not changed. Ensuring that this campus is welcoming to, and supportive of, all of our students has been and will remain our top priority.  Although we know we still have strides to make, we will not waver in our commitment to that priority.

Closely aligned with our commitment to diversity and inclusion is our support of free speech, which is put to the test when polarizing speech is shared. I encourage all students who wish to do so to fully exercise freedom of expression, and to engage in dialogue with your classmates, with faculty, and particularly those with whom you disagree.

If you are on campus and need assistance, please do not hesitate to call the Dean of Students office (615-322-6400), the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life (615-322-2457) or the Psychological and Counseling Center (615-322-2571).

Mark Bandas

Associate Provost and Dean of Students”


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