The Academic Senate broke into applause after they unanimously passed a resolution to continue supporting Dreamers at Cal State Fullerton Thursday.
Resolution ASD 17-140, called the “Resolution in Continued Support for Campus Dreamers,” was put forward by Academic Senate Vice-Chair John Patton and seconded by ASI Chief Campus Relations Officer Kelly Zarate.
“With this resolution, I think we’ll be sending a very strong, clear, unambiguous message to our undocumented students that they have our support, despite what they may hear from a minority of people in discourses on campus,” Patton said.
According to the resolution, the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by the U.S. Department of Justice “places over 800,000 productive members of the nation” at fear of deportation and lessens their ability to contribute to our society.
Thus, Resolution ASD 17-140 re-affirms the values expressed by the Senate with ASD 16-158 from Dec. 8, 2016, championing CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and CSUF President Mildred Garcia for their support of DACA and symbolically backing their commitment to support Dreamers and an inclusive campus environment.
“I think that there is so much negativity in so much of the media right now that I think it’s really important to send out some really positive affirmations that this is something we really support and believe in,” said Academic Senate member Nancy Fitch.
Patton’s resolution also encourages the university to “guarantee student privacy” by refusing to release information on immigration status by backing the rights of students under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and by refusing to cooperate with deportations, raids or any land access by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
It also encourages faculty to add statements to their syllabi and TITANium sites regarding resources like the Titan Dreamers Resource Center.
During their debate on the resolution, the Academic Senate edited a number of clauses related to the inclusivity of the text used.
Academic Senate member Jon Bruschke felt one clause should change “DACA students” to “students facing immigration issues.” The change was adopted with no objections.
“When I circulated this to some of the affected people, they felt it was important that it be inclusive and to recognize you might not be a DACA student but you might have a family member, or you might be undocumented but not a DACA student,” Bruschke said.
One member said the resolution should more broadly mention staff members on campus as well as the student body. Chancellor White released a statement on Sept. 5 where he talked about potential staff cuts as a result of the DACA decision.
“To our wonderful CSU employees impacted by this revocation, I am troubled and dismayed,” White said in the statement. “If (members of Congress) fail to act timely, regretfully, there are no options to allow CSU to continue to employ you.”
The Senate decided to replace the wording of “students, faculty, alumni and families of these individuals at risk of deportation” with “members of the University community at risk of deportation.”
Among others, the Senate will distribute their resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, White, Garcia, the California Faculty Association, the Coordinator of the CSUF Titan Dreamers Resource Center, Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker and California Gov. Jerry Brown.
ASI Chief Governmental Officer Saba Ansari said during the meeting that ASI is planning to pass a resolution similar to the ASD 17-140 to continue to show their support.
“It’s the actions and not the words that matter. I just encourage us to think of this more than just a resolution but a commitment on part of the faculty; it’s the actions that are going to make a difference,” said Academic Senate member Merri Lynn Casem.