Dear Davidson College Board of Trustees,
I am writing to share my belief that College bylaws 1.1.D, 1.5, and 4.1 create unfair religious and racial barriers to institutional leadership. Intersectionality teaches that discrimination cannot be understood in monolithic terms. As such, mandates for the religious make-up of the Board of Trustees and the Presidency cannot be understood as purely religious quotas.
Particularly concerning bylaws are 1.1.D and 4.1, which stipulate that both the President and 25 percent of the Board of Trustees must be affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Because the Presbyterian community is largely (88 percent) white, largely (68 percent) over 50, and largely (87 percent) from families who have been in the United States for three or more generations, these bylaws are disproportionately discriminatory to people of color, immigrants, and members of the Gen X (born ’65-’80), millennial (’81-’96), and Gen Z (’97-’12) generations.
The Davidson community I wish to be a part of is one whose actions reflect its stated purpose: “to assist students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership in service.” How can the College claim this as its motivation when it does not offer its diverse students and alumni the equal opportunity to lead?
Please consider amending these exclusionary bylaws.