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Academic Senate Passes Resolutions Supporting DACA and Undocumented Students

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Cal State Fullerton’s Academic Senate took a stand for DACA and undocumented students at yesterday’s (Dec. 8) meeting, passing two resolutions in support of these students. The actions were taken before a standing-room only audience that included faculty, staff, administrators and more than 60 students.

Sean Walker, chair and professor of biological science, introduced the “Resolution in Support of the U.S. 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program”as a piece of urgent business. He noted that more than 400 universities across the nation have voiced their support.

“Members of the Senate Executive Committee believe that it is important to make a stance that we ‘urge our colleagues, community, state and national leaders across the business, civic, religious, government and nonprofit sectors to join with us in the urgent matter of supporting DACA and all our students’,” Walker said quoting from the resolution, adding “‘that we urge our country’s leaders to uphold, continue and expand DACA, and encourage the CSU community to strongly advocate for the continuation and expansion of DACA.'”

The resolution included a request for distribution throughout the campus, the California State University, to Gov. Jerry Brown, the speaker of the California Assembly and the president pro tempore of the California Senate, as well as President-elect Donald J. Trump.

“We should do more,” said Nancy Fitch, chair and professor of history. “This is one of the most important resolutions that we’ve passed in many, many years.

“This is foundational not only to your future,” she said to the students in the room. “But to our University.”

“DACA students are important members of our campus,” agreed John Patton, professor of anthropology, a sentiment echoed by many of the Academic Senate members.

“The DACA program has allowed people to not only study here, but to work here,” said Alejandro Gradilla, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano studies. “They are here because of DACA. It is important for us to recognize and support our colleagues.”

Gradilla presented the “Resolution in Support of Undocumented Students,” quoting “CSU Fullerton strives to provide a caring and safe place for students irrespective of their status …”

And, “‘that the CSUF Academic Senate strongly encourages our campus and the CSU system to adopt policies that protect and prohibit the release of information regarding the immigration status of our students and campus community members, regardless of circumstance, and prohibit employees from assisting with immigration authorities regarding deportations or raids.'”

“Even in a cursory look at our history, it is obvious that we are a country of immigrants. Diversity is our strength,” stressed Jon Bruschke, professor of human communication studies.

“If it comes to it, there are people in this room who will put their careers and their bodies on the line to protect you,” added Bruschke, eliciting a standing ovation.

“The significance of this is to provide a safe space for our students — all of you,” said Fitch. “That you need not fear coming to class, fear talking to faculty members … that you can count on the University and faculty being behind you and not be afraid.”

“Stay active and organized and we’ll do whatever we can to support you,” said Stephen Stambough, professor of political science.

“You are our future,” said Walker. “That’s what we need to support.”

The senate passed the first resolution unanimously. The second resolution was passed with one abstention.