Our Commitment to Support TU's Undocumented Immigrant Students

December 8, 2016

President Schatzel shares a message with TU students, faculty, and staff reaffirming the institution's support of our undocumented immigrant students.

On December 5, the University Senate passed a resolution urging me and the TU administration to reaffirm, via a statement, the university's intent and measures to support DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program, the DREAM Act and other undocumented immigrant students by adhering to the USM guidance related to undocumented immigrant students. Additionally, the resolution asked that the university educate students on their rights, as well as the legal obligations of the university, as they pertain to undocumented immigrant students. 

This University Senate resolution follows a resolution passed by the TU Student Government Association on November 29 calling for a similar reaffirmation of intent and action related to DACA and other undocumented immigrant students. 

I attended the December 5 University Senate meeting to share with our senate colleagues the university's and my commitment as president to all members of our community. I want to thank both the University Senate and the Student Government Association for their thoughts and support as we work together to confirm our commitment to our undocumented immigrant students as well as to provide thriving inclusiveness on our campus and in our classrooms. 

I wish to affirm and share with you a statement of the university's and my commitment to our undocumented immigrant students, as follows:

On November 28, 2016, I issued a statement reaffirming my commitment to building a diverse and inclusive campus. I also announced that I joined hundreds of college and university presidents from across the nation by signing the Pomona College statement in support of DACA and other undocumented immigrant students. Through the Pomona College statement, presidents are urging business, civic, religious and nonprofit sectors to join them in supporting DACA and other undocumented immigrant students. Additionally, we [university presidents] are urging our nation's elected leaders to uphold, continue and expand DACA.

I am in full support of the USM guidance related to undocumented immigrant students on our campuses. The USM guidance was shared via the TU Newsroom on November 22 and I also linked to them in my November 28 statement in support of our DACA and undocumented immigrant students

In accordance with USM guidance, we are committed to the following: 

  1. Towson University will not permit immigration enforcement authorities to enter campus for an enforcement action without a warrant unless there is an exigent circumstance (national security or terrorist matter, risk of death or physical harm, etc.) necessitating immediate action; 
  2. Towson University will not voluntarily partner with immigration authorities to assist with enforcement activities; 
  3. Towson University will not detain an immigrant at the request of immigration enforcement authorities; 
  4. Towson University will not request nor share immigration information obtained in connection with a campus arrest;
  5. Towson University will not provide immigration enforcement authorities with student records without a lawfully issued subpoena or court order. 

Additionally, the Center for Student Diversity will be supported to increase its assistance to students as it pertains to DACA, DREAM Act, and other issues pertaining to undocumented immigrant students. The Division of Marketing and Communications, working with the Office of the General Counsel and Division of Student Affairs is working to update resources available to our undocumented immigrant TU students on the TU website, as well as adding a special FAQ section, so that we can be a valuable information source for our entire community. Our financial aid website also lists resources for undocumented students.  Drs. Moriarty and Solis will also establish a coordinator for issues pertaining to undocumented immigrant students within the Center for Student Diversity. 

Also, the Office of the General Counsel will be closely monitoring the implications of any possible changes to immigration policy, including those that affect  undocumented immigrant students. 

Finally, I want to share that on December 5, Dr. Muriel Howard, President of American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), wrote to President-Elect Trump on behalf of over 400 university members, including Towson University. In the letter, she sought his support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on grounds of basic equity and longstanding American values.

In closing, I want to emphasize that we are committed to a diverse and inclusive campus and classrooms. Toward that end, as stated above, I, as president, and Towson University are committed to the USM guidance regarding issues pertaining to undocumented immigrant students and will provide assistance to our students on issues related to undocumented immigrant students. 

As president of a great university, I join my AASCU colleagues and those who signed the Pomona College statement in "our commitment to seeing DACA upheld, continued, and expanded."  

I remain confident in our TU community to work together and support each other as we remain committed to a most diverse and inclusive campus where all members can thrive and achieve their potential. 

 

Kim Schatzel, Ph.D. 

President