Alumni in Support of Professor Aneil Rallin

Alumni in Support of Professor Aneil Rallin

272 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
President of Soka University Edward Feasel

Why this petition matters

Started by Milly Tamarez

To President Edward Feasel:

We write to you as outraged alumni in response to the SUA administration’s recent scrutiny of Professor Aneil Rallin’s tenured faculty position. This questionable administrative decision has sparked collective indignation across professional networks and social media platforms from Alumni who view Professor Rallin as a beloved mentor committed to uplifting marginalized student voices.

Professor Rallin has been among a group of faculty with an impressive record of support for anti-racist, anti-oppressive student movements on campus, often times at the expense of their own physical, emotional, and material well-being. Few professors go above and beyond for students like Professor Rallin does; especially with regard for students of color, queer & trans students, and women. Professor Rallin was not only deeply influential to our academic formation, but acted as a crucial emotional support in response to students’ frequent and ongoing experiences of marginalization on campus. 

It is notable that the meeting to revoke Professor Rallin’s tenure comes just shortly after they drew attention to SUA’s racist practices (Huynh, Storms, Saito, X, Rallin, 2021). In fact, actions to discipline Professor Rallin for calling attention to SUA’s racist practices have been addressed faster than any of the demands that BIPOC students have vocalized in recent years. Instead,  administration has escalated punitive practices and censorship measures against students through stringent anti-protest regulations, limiting anti-racist educational material and flyers, use of law enforcement to silence BIPOC organizers, and university attorney surveillance of Queer and BIPOC student organization events to monitor their activities. 

The hardship endured by Professor Rallin, faculty, and Queer and BIPOC students from administration is eerily reflective of the way Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Soka Gakkai founder imprisoned for his dissent of Japanese imperialist, racist policies, was treated by the Japanese government. It is antithetical and ahistorical to SUA’s pedagogical origins and purported human rights principles to censor faculty who engage in anti-racist and anti-oppressive work. At a time when the pandemic and international mobilization against state violence have demonstrated the imperative need for intersectional and dissenting approaches to academic discourse, scholars like Professor Rallin are needed now more than ever. We are appalled that a liberal arts institution that prides itself on an interdisciplinary curriculum would resort to silencing critically acclaimed academic work specifically by Queer, Black, and Brown scholars and artists.

Why is Soka censoring Professor Rallin, when much of their material is taught by other SUA faculty and liberal arts institutions across the country? How far will SUA’s administration continue to stray from its founding principles?  We cannot, in good conscience, express pride, invest time, or financial resources, into an institution that appears committed to endorsing diversity in public relations campaigns while it marginalizes the most diverse students and faculty. The coded language being used to describe subversive work by Queer, Trans, BIPOC scholars, including words and phrases such as, “triggering,” “vaguely pedophilic” and containing “deviant pornography,” perpetuates a culture that ostracizes BIPOC, Queer, and Trans students and faculty and renders this campus inhospitable; and frankly, it is incredibly offensive to the highly regarded authors and scholars who these works belong to, as well as to distinguished scholars who teach their work at other universities. 

SUA’s actions against Professor Aneil Rallin are unacceptable acts of retaliation and coercion.  Therefore, Alumni demand:

  • The immediate cancellation of Professor Rallin’s tenure adjudication meeting scheduled for May 17th. 
  • Serious administrative backtracking on its surveillance and censorship of student and faculty anti-racist efforts. Particularly, revoke its anti-protest regulations, revisit its restrictive guidelines on the placement of political flyers around campus, end attorney and President surveillance of BIPOC student-created and led events, and other oppressive practices challenged by BIPOC, Queer, and Trans, students and faculty.
272 have signed. Let’s get to 500!