Stop the University of Vermont from Cutting Religion Major

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Dean Bill Fall's recommendation to cut the religion major from the University of Vermont is shortsighted and detrimental. According to its website, UVM "aspires to be a community that values: Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Openness, Justice, Responsibility." The study of religion at UVM encompasses all such community standards and provides a space for critical engagement with questions of social justice and diversity. 

On a more personal note, the religion department has made a profound impact on my life. I am in the class of 2021 and finishing up my major in religion at UVM. Though I will leave before the changes will take place, it is devastating to me to think of UVM without the study of religion. I would have likely transferred had the religion department been cut before I arrived at UVM. Without my religion major, I would not be pursuing a law degree to advocate for religious minorities.

The real loss is in the future. Departmental cuts mean the loss of kind, brilliant faculty and groundbreaking religious research. The cuts mean the religious minorities on campus have less representation and advocacy. The cuts will prevent students like me from finding their passion and from being proud of their undergraduate institution.  

As of now, the cuts are merely recommendations. We have the power to rally together to change the Dean's mind to prevent UVM from cutting the religion major. Signing this petition is one such way to show your support, but please, if you can, do more. Please personally reach out to Dean Bill Falls, Provost Patricia Prelock and to the UVM Board of Trustees and remind them that the study of religion is everything UVM seeks to exemplify. My major taught me respect, integrity, innovation, openness, justice, and responsibility. Do not allow UVM to prevent future students from accessing the same education. Thank you for your time.