University Politics

Syracuse University Chancellor on becoming a ‘sanctuary campus’: We ‘simply cannot ignore federal law’

Sam Ogozalek | Staff Writer

Some in the SU community have called on the university to be made a sanctuary campus. Last month, hundreds marched in support of the movement.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud on Wednesday expressed support for undocumented students but said SU must comply with federal laws as he addressed calls for SU to be made a “sanctuary campus.”

In an email to the campus community, Syverud said it is against university policy to share immigration status unless required by law and called on several pockets of the university to work together to protect community members from “physical harm, discrimination and intimidation.” He did not, however, explicitly say SU would be made a sanctuary campus. The chancellor said the university “simply cannot ignore federal laws.”

Since Donald Trump’s election as United States president last month, some in the campus community — including official groups such as the Graduate Student Organization — have called on SU to be made a sanctuary campus.

The concept behind the movement is for universities to adopt policies that protect students who are undocumented immigrants. Hundreds of SU community members last month staged a walk out and march across campus as part of a national sanctuary campus protest.

On Nov. 17, Syverud had SU sign a letter expressing support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a policy that allows undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children to at least temporarily avoid deportation.

In his email Wednesday, Syverud said he will be calling on the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, the Council on Diversity and Inclusion and the Department of Public Safety “to work together to ensure all members of our community are protected from physical harm, discrimination and intimidation.” Those groups, he said, will also be tasked with establishing opportunities for dialogue and reflection among campus community members to promote a diverse and inclusive campus.

“We care deeply about our students, embrace all individuals, listen to diverse viewpoints, respect differences and empower all members of our community to succeed,” Syverud said in the email. “At Syracuse, we remain firmly rooted in these values.”


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