During this week’s Senate meeting, Student Association President Vrinda Kumar introduced a resolution, opened by Senator Rai, seconded by Senator Diallo, titled; A Resolution to Request the SUNY Board of Trustees Declare All State University of New York Locations Sanctuary Campuses.
The resolution seeks to “declare all State University of New York locations sanctuary campuses and in doing so affirm the right of all students enrolled at the State University of New York to pursue higher education regardless of real or perceived country of origin, race, religion or immigration status.”
President Kumar expressed her motivation during the discussion period, “I think this should be done because we have a lot of international students affected by the travel ban. This is asking them for accountability. If we are not a sanctuary campus, that doesn’t really guarantee that students internationally are really welcome.”
Jan. 10, Plattsburgh President Dr. John Ettling stated within a campus wide announcement, “We are part of a system which holds among its founding principles support for undocumented students.” This resolution echoes the sentiment expressed by Ettling.
The resolution passed unanimously within the Senate. President Kumar will proceed to introduce the resolution during the upcoming Presidential Summit meeting to be held Feb. 25 to 26.
If the resolution states that once confirmed the following two actions will be taken; first, “…within 20 days upon its passing, the Student Assembly of the State University of New York will forward copies of this resolution to the SUNY Board of Trustees.”
Second, the creation of a sub-committee of the Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to be titled the International Student Advocacy Committee for the purpose to, “continue advocacy and representation of international students.”
Furthermore, the resolution states, “the Student Assembly of the State University of New York stand in solidarity with the University Faculty Senate and formally endorse the position outlined in the aforementioned petition on sanctuary campuses.”
This position, cited as Appendix 3, outlines the various actions requested within a sanctuary campus, they include but are not limited to the following:
Refusing to comply with ICE officials beyond what is minimally required by law.
Prevent ICE from carrying out immigration enforcement on campus without a warrant unless there is an exigent excuse.
Ensure that SUNY System campus police will not act on behalf of ICE officials, nor should they inquire about an individual’s immigration status.
The SUNY System should provide guidance that, wherever the campus police officers have discretion to arrest or to handle a law enforcement action without an arrest, they should opt to avoid arrest.
The SUNY System should also discontinue any use of e-verify.
Expand financial aid efforts for students who have lost their DACA status.
Student Assembly President Marc J. Cohen, along with the Executive Committee of the Student Assembly and campus student government presidents released a joint statement Jan 28.
“The President’s decision will stall progress on critical research, will prevent students from pursuing their education, and will forever leave a stain on the reputation of the values held dearly by this nation. Let us remind you, Mr. President, of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send those, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp besides the golden door.”
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