The Duke Student Government Senate unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday urging the administration to make the University a sanctuary campus.
Several students—including junior Elizabeth Barahona, the co-president of Mi Gente—emphasized the importance of this resolution during a public forum. The resolution urges the University to stand in solidarity with students in the United States protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as well as undocumented students.
"Whereas the President-elect Donald J. Trump has promised to overturn [DACA], Duke has a responsibility to its students as well as the greater Durham community it inhabits," the resolution reads
The resolution goes on to say that the University has the power to meet this responsibility by “withholding undocumented students’ information from immigration officials without a subpoena, [preventing Immigration and Customs Enforcements] agents from entering campus without a warrant and [expanding] financial aid to undocumented students who lose their right to work."
First-year Olivia Simpson, senator for Durham and regional affairs, introduced the resolution. She noted that a sanctuary campus is a symbolic idea, which stems from the idea of a “sanctuary city.”
“[A sanctuary campus] is a safe space for undocumented students, wherein the University will not outwardly support measures to harm or deport its students,” Simpson said. “That’s what we were talking about in terms of not providing the information on who is undocumented without a warrant [and] not allowing officers on campus without a warrant either.”
Simpson said that the resolution is a statement of the will of the student government, which she hopes will be taken into account as the administration formulates an official stance.
The Chronicle previously reported that President Richard Brodhead signed a statement in support of DACA. Simpson noted that the president of Columbia University had recently approved a measure brought forward by the students to make that university a sanctuary campus.
In other business:
The Senate introduced an initiative to change the course registration process. Options included changing to a “modified law school” process, which would segment the registration process. For example, sophomores might all register for two courses at one point on a given day, and for the next two courses later on the same day.
After a lengthy discussion, the Senate decided not to approve an initiative that would have launched a competition to create an app for DSG.
The Senate also approved a budgetary statute that gives card swipes to the Student Organization Funding Committee for access to events they have to audit. It also approved changes to the K-ville policy discussed last meeting. The changes include that no drinking games be allowed and that all tents be store-bought.
In addition, two new groups—the Student Advisory Board of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute as well as the Francophone Society—were approved.
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