Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran has been a signatory to two open letters to President Obama and Congressional Leaders in recent days. One addresses gun control, the other addresses the possible elimination of the federal tax deduction for charitable giving.
On December 19, President Wilson-Oyelaran joined more than 160 college presidents who signed an open letter urging lawmakers to enact stricter gun laws. The letter states that the signatories do not oppose gun ownership outright and acknowledges that gun-safety laws alone will not prevent all acts of violence involving guns. The group of signatories, calling itself College Presidents for Gun Safety, state that they oppose laws making gun possession legal on college campuses and support elimination of the so-called “gun-show loophole,” which makes buying firearms easier. They also call for reinstating the ban on military-style assault weapons that expired in 2004 and addressing mental-health issues that underlie many mass shootings.
On Dec. 5, she joined members of the Association of Governing Boards in a letter expressing concerns about potential changes to the federal income tax deduction for charitable giving. Restrictions to the charitable deduction have been mentioned often as a target during the continuing negotiations on the federal budget and the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The AGB letters emphasize the value that charitable donations bring to colleges and universities, and urge the President and Congressional leaders to protect the tax deduction for charitable giving during the current negotiations. The AGB represents more than 100,000 volunteer governing board members of US colleges and universities and their affiliated support foundations.