Support Excel students walking at graduation on May 4th, 2019

0 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!

Georgia Tech Administration has chosen to not allow Excel students to walk at Commencement on May 4th, 2019.

Excel is a four-year, dual certificate program for students with mild intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) leading to two separate Certificates of Social Growth, Academic Enrichment, and Vocational Exploration. This decision was made in opposition to a SGA resolution passed in Spring 2019 that endorsed these students to walk with the general undergraduate population. Their argument is that an Excel student cannot walk at graduation because Excel students are in a certificate program. The SGA resolution already discusses as to why Excel is unlike any certificate program because our students undergraduate experience mimics that of any undergrad through participation in campus organizations, taking undergraduate classes, going to sporting events, and much more. This way of thinking is counterintuitive and destructive of progressing society into the inclusive environment that every human being desires.

Signing this petition allows for the student body to have its voice heard and to challenge the administration on their faulty judgment. The goal is to collect as many signatures by the end of the second week of April so that the undergraduate students participating in the Excel Mentorship Program can present this to Dean Stein and members of the Provost's office to demonstrate campus support for this initiative. Ideally, this petition persuades administration to change their decision by May 4th, but at the very least our voice will be heard and the rights' of Excel students will be fought for.

I started this petition because...
My name is Philip Murray and I am the current President of Excel's Student Advisory Board and former Excel Student Coach. Ever since I was a child, I had been given diverse opportunities to work with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. I have found that the biggest misconception about people with mental disabilities is that they are inherently “different” in some way, shape, or form. It is quite the opposite. Each person I have worked with has the same desire for friendship, passion for learning, and love for others as anyone else I have come across. I implore you to support our petition to have Georgia Tech Excel students walk at Commencement on May 4th and give these students an opportunity to celebrate their past four years of dedication to a Georgia Tech education.