Tensions are high around the United States as the battle over President Trump’s immigration ban continues. Joseph Johnson, senate representative for Stuart Hall, addressed the concerns of many students when he proposed a resolution to make Emory & Henry College a sanctuary campus.
Led by Johnson, the Student Government Association held an open committee meeting to discuss and address concerns from the public. Various concerns were raised from both supporters and opposers of the resolution. Student Government President Chase Crickenberger described the atmosphere of the meeting as “respectful contention.”
Those in favor of the resolution expressed the importance of Emory & Henry being an accepting institution, regardless of citizenship status. Crickenberger explained that many felt it was necessary to “make it publicly known that the College does not discriminate against any person.”
Other supporting statements stressed the negative effects of prioritizing funding over inclusion with the unveiling of the Inclusion and Dialogue Center earlier this year. They argued that every person has the right to receive a quality education. On the opposing side, students raised concerns over potentially losing federal funding and donor support. Current student Orlando Martinez questioned the benefit of the sanctuary campus resolution.
“President Donald Trump has already threatened to defund cities that hold and protect undocumented immigrants. 83% of Emory students depend on need based financial aid,” said Martinez. He worries that converting Emory & Henry into a sanctuary campus will potentially jeopardize the ability of many students to attend college and taint the reputation of the school.
Johnson plans to host open committee meetings every other Wednesday. He strongly encourages the public to come and express their opinions on this issue. He says, “I am very open to suggestions and discussion from my fellow students.” The next open committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22nd. Time and location will be announced closer to the day of the meeting.
– Landie Maness