A Letter of Support For President Miller

As members of the Hamline University student body, there is a lot that is being said about us without our voices in the room. In the press, in faculty conversations and in spaces where you think we aren’t listening.

Today is a continuation of an ongoing issue. Our voices as Hamline students have continued to be drowned out in the fight between faculty and administration. When the faculty met on January 24 to vote on a statement demanding that President Miller resign, the voices of the students were neglected. At the very heart of Hamline University are the students, and by voting to ask President Miller to resign, they betrayed our needs.

Miller has shown her support for students. She has sat with us, consoled us and been a champion for us in these trying times, in a way that few faculty members have. We understand that she has to juggle caring for the students and the concerns of the faculty, yet she has been the shield defending this institution entirely taking the brunt of everyone’s disdain. As at all institutions of higher learning, students and administration have had their differences, but we do not wish for President Miller to resign, especially when our vulnerable students need her the most.

Many of the faculty have made comments such as, “Miller had responded to the crisis by trying to pit students against faculty, but the teachers say they [students] are refusing to take the bait.” This does not represent our experience. President Miller has constantly told us that she, the faculty and the staff will be here to support us in our time of need.

Is it because select members of the faculty want a scapegoat for more significant institutional structural issues, such as issues of racism, sexism and faculty discontent? Why now? What about this moment in time has emboldened the faculty in attempting to oust President Miller? We know the faculty who have steadily sympathized with and supported us. We hear you and appreciate you. We are also fully aware of the faculty who have used this as a chance to twist our words and use them against us. Weaponizing the experiences of marginalized students for their ends. This issue, which disproportionately affects Muslim students, should not be the vehicle to call for the dismissal of the president. Marginalized lives are not fodder for dialogue.

The original conversation was never about academic freedom. We originally advocated for reducing harm against marginalized students in the classroom. There is a way to balance faculties’ ability to teach their curriculum in a way that aligns with their values that doesn’t cause further harm towards their students. In the statement released on the 24th of January by the faculty, they said “We, the faculty of Hamline University, stand for both academic freedom and the education of all students. We affirm both academic freedom and our responsibility to foster an inclusive learning community. Importantly, these values neither contradict nor supersede each other” supporting our argument that both academic freedom and the reduction of harm can co-exist.

The process and vote to urge President Miller to resign now reflects poorly upon the faculty and the university as a whole, and as members of Hamline University, we stand with President Miller. We ask the Board of Trustees and the faculty of this institution to listen to what we have to say.


Pearl Buabeng
Student Representative, DISC
Assistant Area Coordinator, Residential Life
Co-founder & President of Women Boss Up

Aram Wedatalla
President of Muslim Student Association
Leader of Better Together

Rani A Hamza
Co-Vice President of Muslim Student Association
Player for Hamline Football, Track and Field
Student Athlete

Travis Matthews
Political Affairs Committee Chair, HUSC
Dean of Students Access Worker

Anab Muqtar
Lead Student Ambassador at Admissions

Mohamed Shukri
Board of Elected Representative Chair, HUSC
Dispatcher at Public Safety
Resident Assistant

Deangela Huddleston
Student Project Manager
Catalyst Executive Board for Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice.

Asma’a Omar
Co-Vice President of Muslim Student Association
Vice President of First Gen Scholars
Black History Month Coordinator of Black Student Collective

Emily Hilderbrand
Student Body External President, HUSC Event Programmer, HUPB

Ubah Omar
Leadership Coordinator at SALD Bystander Step-up Training
Student Ambassador at Admissions Catalyst site leader

Taylor Atkins
Technology Coordinator, HUSC Student manager, Hamline Starbucks Student

Katelyn Krummel
President of Mock Trial
Student Athlete

Maddie Swanson
Internal Student Body President, HUSC Student Athlete