January 23, 2017
To: Members of the Campus Community
From: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
Many on our campus and across the country are concerned about potential changes to policies and practices pertinent to the status of undocumented persons and those who have, or could acquire, the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As a Jesuit college, our institutional mission asks us to explore our obligations to one another, especially those who are impoverished and powerless, and to commit ourselves to the service of faith and promotion of justice.
Shortly before the holidays I joined college and university presidents from across the country and signed on to the following statements/letters:
- Letter to President-Elect Trump;
- Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students;
- Statement of AJCU Presidents - November 2016; and
- A Statement from Leaders in Catholic Higher Education.
Here on campus, the Offices of Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Education, and International Students, as well as our class deans, chaplains and counselors have been providing support to and sharing resources with individuals in our community who are touched in any way by the policies regarding DACA, undocumented persons, or immigration concerns and visas. We have every intention to do all we can within the limits of federal and state law to support any of our community members who find themselves impacted by any new policies or laws. As is true of other institutions of higher education, we are restricted from providing student information to third parties, including immigration agencies, except in the limited circumstances outlined by law. We have made legal advice available to students who might be directly impacted by immigration policy changes and we plan to continue to do so. And finally, please know that the College’s general counsel is appointed to review inquiries from any government agency, including immigration agencies, should any office of the College be approached for information.
As an educational institution, we are also working to educate ourselves on these issues. Recently, we added a resource page to our website which can be found here. I have asked the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to host this site and to keep it updated as new information becomes available, new letters are written, and new resources are discovered.
In addition, various divisions within the College have been planning programs to help us learn more about the complexity of these issues, and you will see that we began with one last semester.
December 15, 2016
Conversation with Immigration Attorney Megan Kludt
Feb 8, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
An Immigration Law Information Session & Conversation with Attorney Richard Iandoli (sponsored by Higher Education Consortium of Central MA)
Feb. 28, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Screening: "Indivisible: Love Knows No Borders"
This documentary tells the stories of three undocumented young adults. Discussion and personal stories to follow with Hilary Linder, Director and Producer, and Sarah Rendon Garcia '08.
We are also in the planning stages for a panel discussion with some local experts on these and related issues and a conversation with Congressman Jim McGovern regarding developments and changes in federal policy. I hope that you are able to make time to participate in these important conversations.
These issues are important ones and I assure you that we are focused on them and will continue to pay attention not only to how issues are being addressed at the national level, but also to how the needs and concerns of those in our campus community are being addressed. If you have further ideas on how we can support members of our campus community or provide opportunities for education and discussion, please be in touch with Amit Taneja, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, these are not the only issues touching members of our campus community. The people with whom we live, work and study are regularly dealing with any number of issues — illness, grief, stress, family crises, discrimination, and mental health issues to name but a few of the concerns that are part of the human condition. Many of these realities are not obvious, but nonetheless weigh heavily on our classmates and colleagues who bear them quietly. As we engage one another in our normal campus activities, let us strive to be humane and caring, treating one another as respectfully as we ourselves would like to be treated.
I am grateful to be part of such a caring and committed community and, as always, I look forward to working and sharing with you in the days ahead.
Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.