Dear President Messitte,
In light of recent changes in the social and political climate, we members of the Ripon College community urge the administration to stand with other colleges and universities to declare Ripon College a sanctuary campus that will protect students of all genders, races, religions, beliefs, sexual orientations, nationalities, ethnicities, abilities, and immigration statuses.
President Trump and others have vowed to repeal many of former president Obama’s executive orders, such as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), that protect at-risk groups. More recently President Trump has banned refugees and persons from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. Students nationwide are facing uncertainty, intimidation, acts of discrimination, and prejudice. Because of these developments, we ask the administration to stand in solidarity with our society’s most vulnerable populations, such as undocumented students, international students, students of color, ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA students, Muslims, Jews and other religious minorities, women, and disabled students.
The term “Sanctuary Campus” bears tremendous symbolic weight and therefore sends an important message to the Ripon College community regarding collective well-being and support.
In this spirit, we are requesting that Ripon College adopt the following Sanctuary Campus provisions to reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness by proclaiming, highlighting, and strengthening our campus policy to protect vulnerable populations:
1) Ensure the identities of undocumented and international members of our community continue to be protected.2) Refuse all voluntary information sharing with ICE (US Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (US Customs and Border Protection) to the fullest extent possible under the law.3) Refuse ICE physical access to all land owned or controlled by the college, unless a warrant is provided.4) Continue to allow qualifying undocumented and international students access to all the resources available to them and assist them in continuing their education.5) Invest in annual training workshops for faculty, staff, and students to support diverse groups on campus (for example, a social justice retreat, safety zone training, and orientation events).6) Publicly condemn any federal registry of targeted groups (for example, against Muslims).7) Publicly condemn any discriminatory bans (for example, travel bans against refugees and international students).8) Promote domestic and international humanitarian causes that would advance the well-being of vulnerable populations.
We ask the college to consider these measures in the spirit of defending our students and affirming our commitment to shared values of inclusion and justice. We also wish the administration to know that this is a student-led initiative, and the document was developed in collaboration with students, faculty, and staff members at Ripon College.
* This document was endorsed by Student Senate on February 15, 2017 with a vote of 11 (yes) - 2 (no) -1 (abstain) and by the Ripon College Faculty on May 2, 2017 with a vote of 58 (yes) - 10 (no).