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A Message From the President on US Supreme Court Rulings

Dear all,

Vassar has a longstanding tradition of open engagement; it is a place where we embrace social differences as part of our shared humanity, and continually discover that we are more than the sum of our parts. Last week, the highest court in the land provided legal affirmation of our community values, expressing care for members of our human community that were long overdue. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld LGBTQ equal rights and struck down the immediate threat to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more widely known as DACA.

SAVP interns Leora Shlasko ’22, Alexandria Ortiz ’22, Scarlett Thompson ’20, and Eliz Gibbs’20
Nicole Wong, Director of SAVP, and Rachel Pereira, Title IX Coordinator

On Monday, June 15 the Court ruled that gay and transgender workers are protected by federal law from discrimination in employment. The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barring job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, applies to bias against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Earlier this academic year, SAVP interns (Leora Shlasko, Alexandria Ortiz, Scarlett Thompson, and Eliz Gibbs), Nicole Wong (Director of SAVP), and Rachel Pereira (Title IX Coordinator) heard the case argued with questioning by Justice Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court the morning of October 8, 2019.

Just three days later on June 18, the Court issued another major ruling, barring the current Administration from immediately ending a program that protects about 700,000 immigrants who came to the United States as children, known as Dreamers, from being deported. This also is an area in which Vassar has contributed our voice in support of the protection of Dreamers.

In this time of divisions, we can take pride in the knowledge that in these decisions, humanity prevailed. These rulings give hope that further change may be possible.

More work is needed, and while the hands of justice may move slowly, we have seen movement this week. Let us continue to work together to be vigilant in supporting the protection of these and all individuals to live their lives safely and free from discrimination and harm.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604