President Manuel issues statement on HJR-6

University of Indianapolis President Robert Manuel emailed the following message Thursday evening to students, faculty and staff.

Dear UIndy Community:

I have spent the last two months in conversation with the leadership groups across campus to discern the appropriate action for our University regarding House Joint Resolution No. 6 (HJR-6) – the proposal to amend the Indiana Constitution to prohibit marriage or equivalent legal arrangements for same-sex couples.

My approach has always been twofold. First, I created a series of conversations around HJR-6 that are meant to help each member of our community equip themselves with the necessary perspectives to inform their individual decisions about the proposed amendment.

At the same time, I consulted with many on campus to discern what, if any, statement the University would issue regarding HJR-6. After conversations with, and with support from, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Academic Affairs Leadership Team, the University Planning Commission, the President’s Cabinet, the Executive Committee of the UIndy Student Government, and the Faculty Senate, I write to inform you that the University of Indianapolis opposes HJR-6—the tenets of which stand in conflict with our policies against harassment and discrimination and our long-standing University culture of inclusivity.

Expressing a position should not silence voices in favor of HJR-6, nor should it stop us from continuing the University discussions in which we are currently engaged. Our community is not unanimously opposed to this amendment, and I continue to encourage you all to voice your opinions with the appropriate public officials.

Because debate on this subject must continue, we will have our next community conversation on HJR-6 on January 15th, and I will send details about that soon. I hope we can approach that conversation and any additional discussions, formal or informal, with a continued willingness to listen and learn. We must ensure that our campus remains a place where differing viewpoints are discussed in a civil manner, and that we—all members of the UIndy community—use this moment to examine the complexities surrounding this very important debate.

Thank you,