April 7, 2016

Statement from Dr. Stephen G. Jennings, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and President D. E. Lorraine Sterritt Regarding House Bill 2

Dear members of the Salem College community:

As you are likely aware, the North Carolina Legislature passed into law on March 23, 2016, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.

We have received a number of questions from members of our community, and we have been in discussion about the new law with legal counsel and with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. We also received a petition signed by 271 members of our community, and we appreciate their concern.

While the meaning and ramifications of the new law are still being debated by government officials and attorneys, and while the protection of employment rights and access to public accommodations in Part 3 of the law applies, at least in part, to both public and private entities, our current understanding is that the new law will not necessitate any changes in Salem Academy and College’s policies and procedures in terms of protected rights and bathroom and changing facilities.

Since the founding of this institution in 1772, it has been committed to the principle of nondiscrimination. As our mission statement indicates, “Salem College, a liberal arts college for women, values its students as individuals, develops their unique potential and prepares them to change the world.”

We uphold the commitment to nondiscrimination that has been at the heart of this institution since its founding, and we will continue to monitor and evaluate this situation very carefully.

Sincerely yours,

Stephen G. Jennings, PhD
Chair, Board of Trustees

D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, PhD