ASMSU passed a sanctuary campus bill at its Feb. 2 general assembly meeting.
A sanctuary campus is a term taken from the Sanctuary City Movement that establishes a college campus as a place in which there are certain policies to safeguard students and/or faculty that are undocumented immigrants. This includes limiting what information about students is given to federal immigration authorities as well as providing many resources for students and faculty.
The bill encourages working to establish Michigan State University as a sanctuary campus to further help its student and faculty.
During public comment, the president of DreaMSU Raquel Acosta stood up and spoke about the importance of one of the bills being presented later on at the meeting.
“Many don't understand why this issue is so important, especially here in East Lansing,” Acosta said. “But the reason is simple because this issue affects a significant amount of people in our community. MSU specifically boasts one of the largest international student populations. Since admitting its first international students in 1873, MSU has welcomed 10s of 1000s of international students to East Lansing.”
The bill was officially presented during the time dedicated to new business.
“A sanctuary campus refers to any college or university that implements policies to protect students and our faculty who are undocumented,” Connor Le, ASMSU Representative for APASO said.
Representative Esli Mendoza also supported this bill.
“I just wanted to add that I think that it's common sense that everybody should feel safe on MSU campus, especially if you're a student," Mendoza said. "So yeah, I really see this bill is a no-brainer.”
Acosta encouraged representatives to acknowledge past mindsets and work toward "transformative action."
“Today, our student representatives need to take the lead for people altering oppressive structural conditions that continue to exist here at MSU," Acosta said. "Say we as students, citizens, community members, families in the throes of challenging each other and our institutions need to act and assert ourselves as agents of change.”
Senior class president and general assembly liaison Jack Metty said the sanctuary campus provides a safe and secure environment for those who need protection.
Most representatives agreed to support the bill.
“As a history major, what I've learned is that you don't make history by being a follower, but by being the leader of change.” College of Social Sciences representative Anthony Barash said.
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