Mississippi State University writes open letter about HB 1523

The letter talks about the concerns that were raised by some students and staff because Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Religious Accommodations Act

The open letter from Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum in regards to the Religious Accommodations Act (H.B. 1523) signed by Governor Phil Bryant (Photo: WJTV)
The open letter from Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum in regards to the Religious Accommodations Act (H.B. 1523) signed by Governor Phil Bryant (Photo: WJTV)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) — The Mississippi State University posted an open letter about House Bill 1523 on the school’s website.

The letter, which was addressed to family and friends, talks about the concerns that were raised by some students and staff because Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Religious Accommodations Act.

President Mark E. Keenum said MSU is committed to creating a campus environment that reflects diversity.

Read the letter below from President Keenum:

 Dear MSU family and friends,

As our students, faculty, and staff are no doubt aware, new legislation has been signed into law in our state that raises significant concerns about the culture of inclusion and diversity in Mississippi.

I wish to speak to those concerns as they relate to our campuses in Starkville and Meridian and to the conduct of our broader business as a community of scholars.

Let me assure each of you that Mississippi State University’s mission and our core values are unchanged. As I wrote in 2013 in a letter to the university community that accompanied MSU’s Diversity Strategic Plan, MSU is committed to creating and maintaining a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of this nation – an environment in which differences are welcomed, embraced, and valued.

Progress toward a campus that fully welcomes and respects differences and embraces the concept of inclusion is contingent on each individual’s commitment. All of us must work together to that end – and I remain committed to that goal.

I believe we have in place a focused and explicit plan to guide MSU in creating a truly diverse, inclusive educational community. Much work has been done, much work remains to be done. Please join me as we continue to work together to make MSU one of the most welcoming campuses in the country and a model for other institutions of higher education to emulate.

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