Before faculty members voted on the motion asking Postmaster General and Elon University Board of Trustees member Louis DeJoy to commit to improving the service provided by the United States Postal Service and absolve his personal conflict of interests or step down as trustee to the university, professor of biology Dave Gammon gave a speech against the motion.
To Gammon, the situation with DeJoy is multifaceted, and he said the proposal was a “very one-sided view” of a complex issue.
Gammon said he fears the vote could be interpreted by people outside of the Elon community as another example of “the liberal ivory tower taking a political stance against the Republican Party.”
“Given Elon’s core values of inclusivity and diversity, it is important that the large number of Republican students at Elon do not feel excluded or marginalized because of their political beliefs and values,” Gammon said in his speech.
Patrick Bell, a lecturer in the Love School of Business, said he does not see a problem with DeJoy and found the motion to be “wildly presumptuous.”
The motion, which DeJoy does not have to respond to, passed with 45% of faculty who voted in favor, but Bell said he does not think the motion will have any impact on Elon’s campus.
“This motion is meaningless,” Bell said. “This is the best example of virtue signaling, because it has no effect.”
While Gammon said he agreed with professor of mathematics Jeffery Clark — who proposed the faculty motion — that mail-in voting is important and necessary in the pandemic, he does not believe the motion accomplishes that. The Senate Democrat’s report found that DeJoy’s policies delayed 7% of the nation’s first-class mail.
Gammon said he also feels DeJoy’s connection to President Donald Trump — DeJoy is a donor to Trump’s campaign — may be affecting how people perceive DeJoy’s actions.
“Mr. Dejoy is trying to introduce new types of thinking at the U.S. Postal Service he wants to slim some things down,” Gammon said. “That’s why I encouraged a no vote, is because there are so many complex sides to this issue.”