At William & Mary, every member of the community must work together to uphold our core values — especially belonging, curiosity, integrity, and respect — to live out the university’s mission of becoming a vibrant and inclusive community. The Government Department strives to foster an environment that is inclusive in all aspects and celebrates the plethora of differences that make our department stronger. Every student, alumni, visitor, and member of the staff and faculty should feel welcome and included. As a department, we condemn any acts of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism, or any other form of discrimination and bias. The Government Department has been very late in speaking out on our own failures and the failures we have seen elsewhere, and we intend to correct our mistakes. After listening to concerns from students, faculty members, and staff, the department has established steps that will be taken to foster an environment where everyone feels respected.
We ask that every member of the department joins the work of fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion through:
- Not singling out individuals, whether students or faculty, to speak on behalf of their respective groups in relation to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and class among other personal identifications;
- Regardless of our backgrounds, we should be open to new perspectives in the classroom and be cognizant of other people’s voices;
- Encouraging faculty to include the broadest range of diverse voices in their syllabi and a wide range of perspectives in the curriculum;
- Holding the department accountable for the aspects of hiring, evaluation, promotion, and retention of faculty of color that are in their control and working to hold upper administration accountable for their roles in hiring, evaluation, promotion, and retention of faculty of color
- Holding the department accountable for the aspects of hiring, evaluation, promotion, and retention of women faculty, emphasizing the intersectional identities women inhabit, that are in their control and working to hold upper administration accountable for their roles in hiring, evaluation, promotion, and retention of women faculty
- Respecting individuals’ pronouns;
- Respecting all W&M workers and staff, including but not limited to facilities management workers;
- Understanding and cooperating with the accommodations that students may need for assignments and exams; and
- Holding a town hall once a semester where students can give the Department feedback and criticism on their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
As a department, we are open to feedback and criticism to help us improve and help create an environment that empowers every member to do their best work. We invite concerns and suggestions, and we will provide opportunities to do so, such as the semesterly town hall, through the department website, and through mechanisms listed in syllabi for members of the department to share their thoughts publicly or confidentially.