Open letter from José Flores to the Board of Trustees

José Flores

Courtesy of José Flores

I want to first thank Dr. Martin for his time and service at Seattle Pacific and the work he has done both behind the scenes and in person. With that being said, this letter is not directed toward him, nor his position; this letter is directed towards the Board of Trustees.

I am in my final quarter at SPU and my final quarter serving as the ASSP President. Before I begin, I want to state that these are my own personal views. In the following statement, I will be speaking solely on behalf of myself, as an individual. This letter is not affiliated with any SPU leadership position.

I understand the pressing nature of hiring a University President and the scope of the search process involved in finding someone who can fill that role.

However, this cannot take precedent over the Board of Trustee’s pending decision regarding SPU’s Statement on Human Sexuality (SHS).

To the Board, you know to what extent this policy has done harm to the lives of students. This fight for equality has been an ongoing battle on behalf of students, staff, faculty, and alumni ranging over countless academic years. This continued struggle inflicts trauma on the lives of those directly impacted by the toxic and archaic nature of the SHS.

In my time, I have witnessed the way this institution has deterred the removal of the SHS. I have witnessed institutional fatigue that hurts our LGBTQ+ community at SPU. I have witnessed the way that the Board “listens” to students and surveys the faculty, yet fails to act on injustice. Time after time, the Board forces this work onto a new and inexperienced group of students. They further negate progress and prolong substantial change by waiting until the end of an academic year to act.

The email sent by the Board yesterday indicates their ability to communicate openly and transparently with the undergraduate student body. However, it reveals that they have refused to communicate in any context that does not serve their agenda. I understand that the Board is scheduled to meet in the coming weeks to discuss the removal and replacement of the Statement on Human Sexuality. I urge the Board to make a decision this academic year. Not merely for the sake of current prospective students, but for the members of our beloved LGBTQ+ community that have fought and endured this institutions’ deliberate mistreatment.

Members of the Board, you have been presented with tangible evidence suggesting the need for the policies removal and called to do so by an overwhelming majority of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. It is because of this I am urging you to make a decision.

You are deciding the direction of this University. Make a decision and give students enough time to make plans for next year. Whether they choose to transfer, leave, or reassess their college commitment. As a student who has been here and has endured these last four years — make a decision.


José Flores