Campus Council and Student Government Association (SGA) have passed a joint resolution supporting the College’s commitment to protecting students currently attending Wooster under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which President Donald Trump promised to revoke in his campaign.
Under DACA, current students who came to the United States without documentation from the U.S. government while they were under 16 may be “deferred” from prosecution by immigration authorities for renewable two-year periods.
In a November email to the campus community, President Sarah Bolton promised that if DACA were revoked, the College would adjust financial aid to DACA students so that they could continue to study at Wooster. Additionally, she said that the College was working with legal experts and College faculty and staff to ensure that students’ rights would be protected and that private information, including immigration status, would not be given to authorities without a legal court order.
“We stand with the international and immigrant members of The College of Wooster community,” Bolton said in her email. “[We] will support them in every way that we possibly can.”
Although DACA has not been revoked, uncertainty about the status of immigration policy has continued to be addressed by President Bolton in emails to the campus.
Annabelle Hopkins ’19, an at-large senator in SGA, and Jordan Griffith ’19, an at-large member of the Campus Council, said that they saw an opportunity to signal both student governance groups’ support for the administration’s commitments. They worked together to draft a joint resolution, which was passed by both bodies earlier this month with plans for it to be emailed to the campus.
“SGA and Campus Council don’t work with each other enough,” Griffith said, claiming that a joint resolution between the two bodies made a more powerful statement of support. “This resolution seemed like the perfect opportunity to bridge that gap.”
Griffith and Hopkins said that they wanted the joint resolution to be emailed as a public announcement to the campus to both signal support for DACA students and their expectation that the administration would follow through with President Bolton’s commitments.
“The Joint Resolution is essentially a promise,” Hopkins said. “One that shows that the elected student bodies are here to defend threatened students, as well as other members of this community.”
“We hope to show that [President Bolton] has our support to carry out these actions,” Griffith said. “We also see the statement as a method of holding the President accountable to the actions proposed in the emails.”
In the future, Hopkins said that she wanted this joint resolution to be the start of increased cooperation between SGA and Campus Council, saying that it would help increase the community’s voice on important issues. In the meantime, both hoped support for DACA students would continue.
“This community cannot thrive while even just a few are threatened,” Hopkins said. “Therefore this is an issue in which we all must take interest and heart.”