Tell legislature that diversity matters

The sponsors of SB83 believe diversity is dangerous, and schools should be punished if diversity programs remain. What happens to campus hubs that welcome all?

To the editor:

Some Ohio legislators are busy pushing forward concerning pieces of legislation into committee at a quick pace, including Senate Bill 83. SB83 was introduced on March 14. Already, two hearings have taken place since it was moved to the Workforce and Higher Education Committee on March 21.

It centers on higher education, proposing a broad menu of changes, including that the institution “not require diversity, equity, and inclusion courses or training for students, staff, or faculty” (Sec. 1713.57(3)). In the same breath, it notes that the statements are only to appropriate state funds for institutional purposes. The fast and clear takeaway is that the sponsoring lawmakers believe diversity is dangerous, and schools should be punished by having their funding cut if diversity programs remain.


Pause for a moment to consider the impact on our southeast Ohio communities and Ohio University students, staff, and faculty. What happens to campus hubs that welcome everyone? Would the Women’s Center, the LGBT Center, and the Multicultural Center be considered training spaces? How does this disrupt meaningful collaboration among international students, religious organizations, and social justice programming? Lawmakers should be addressing these questions before making any decisions to move the bill forward.

It’s moving fast — if this concerns you, submit opposing written testimony to the committee chair, Jerry C. Cirno, at All testimony must be submitted at least 24 hours before a hearing, and since the next hearing is not listed, it is critical that you send it as soon as possible.

Read the text and follow the bill at

All voices matter, so please consider adding yours to this important conversation.

Tara Griffitts
Athens, Ohio

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