In response to President Trump’s position on illegal immigration, many college students and faculty are thumbing their noses at him by making their campuses a “sanctuary campus”. “Sanctuary campuses” take after “sanctuary cities” by vowing to protect illegal members of their community.
While it is a popular movement, not everyone is on board with the idea. At University of Massachusetts Boston, Student Body President Ciro Castaldi vetoed a student senate bill that would’ve made the school a “sanctuary campus”.
In a letter to the Undergraduate Student Senate, Castaldi explains that while he understands the desire to “protect” UMass Boston students by declaring the school a sanctuary campus, it could create a false sense of security because the bill is not legally binding and could make the school lose federal funding.
Castaldi further explained his reasoning in a email to Hypeline News:
“Making the decision to veto this act was not an easy one. Our student population at UMass Boston is extremely diverse and the Undergraduate Student Government holds the responsibility of serving all students. This Act passed unanimously in the Senate, which in my opinion is not a true representation of our student body. Such a resolution calls for careful extensive deliberation, that goes beyond just a vote. I used my platform to challenge individuals to engage in discussion that they may other wise feel uncomfortable doing.”
There have been small protests at the school demanding to become a “sanctuary campus”:
Castaldi’s decision, however, is not popular with other colleges across the country. Many students and faculty want their schools to be a safe place for illegal students.
Campus Reform reported the Notre Dame faculty senate passing a resolution to make the school a “sanctuary campus” and the ability to not cooperate with ICE.
At Emory University, the school decided to become a “safe harbor” campus instead of a sanctuary one. The reason for the difference of words is if the school became a “sanctuary campus” then they could lose state funding. Students and faculty said the school’s decision didn’t go far enough and staged a walkout.
Student groups and faculty members at other schools are currently advocating for their schools to become “sanctuary campuses”, such as:
- University of South Dakota
- University of Missouri
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- University of California-Los Angeles
- Florida State University
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