VICII: Gathering to Express Support and Solidarity with the Faculty, Staff, and Students of the University of Vermont
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The Vermont Institute of Community and International Involvement (VICII) holds a gathering outside of the Waterman Building of the University of Vermont at noon on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021. VICII is a group of educators, artists and civic activists who are devoted to education for people of all ages and which helps people become critical thinkers, creative artists, and informed, engaged, free citizens in a democratic society.
“We are here as Vermont citizens concerned with the proposed elimination of UVM departments devoted to the liberal arts,” said Sandy Baird, a founder of VICII. Today, we as Vermonters are gathering to express our support and solidarity with the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Vermont in their ongoing and growing movement to maintain and expand the University’s commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and humanities, as well as to the faculty who teach in those studies. John Dewey, the American Philosopher, teacher and UVM alumnus, asserted that "education is life" itself in all its richness, meaning, potential and beauty.
“As president of United Academics, UVM’s faculty union, I am grateful to VICII for recognizing and supporting the concerns of the faculty at the closing of liberal arts majors, programs, and departments at UVM and the cutting of faculty. If the unilateral decisions aren’t halted, I fear that the damage to UVM will be permanent. I hope more Vermonters will pay attention and weigh in” (Julie Roberts, Professor of Linguistics at UVM).
More than career training, the humanities and the arts and sciences bring out the best in us and all humanity: our capacities to reason, to create, to solve problems, to imagine, and to dream. Sandy Baird leads off the gathering and is joined by members of the faculty, staff, students, and members of the Vermont community, including Julie Roberts (United Academics President) and Meaghan Emery (Associate Professor of French) and many others who have and continue to serve this university, this state, and its people and remind us that UVM is ours and deserves all of our attention, support and love.