College “Investigating” Sanctuary Status

Hundreds of students walked out of class and stood in front of Parrish today, asking that Swarthmore become a sanctuary campus for undocumented students. President Valerie Smith has announced that the college is looking into the possibility. Here is her statement, in full:

“By initiating this petition, our community members are exercising their rights and power to raise their voices for social justice — a time-honored goal and tradition at Swarthmore.

We are investigating what providing sanctuary would mean for our undocumented students, and how it would actually work both legally and practically.

We are also in conversation with other colleges and universities to exchange information and better understand how they are approaching this issue. We are working quickly and thoroughly to address these questions.

We will certainly be in touch with our community as we learn more about sanctuary schools.

Above all, we share the concerns of our students, as well as a commitment to our nation’s diversity, and the common goal of including all of our students in our country’s future.

We pledge to work with and support all members of our community in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.”

Featured image courtesy of Mountain Justice.


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The Daily Gazette is Swarthmore’s daily newspaper. The Gazette is sent out every work-day to more than 2,500 people, and has thousands of readers from across the world. The Daily Gazette was organized during Fall semester 1996 by Sam Schulhofer-Wohl ’98. The goal: to provide timely coverage of campus news and Garnet sports while maintaining complete independence from the administration and student government.

One comment

  1. 1
    Rachel Flaherman '16 says:

    Doesn’t it seem like social justice itself should be Swarthmore’s goal, not “exercising rights…to raise voices…for social justice” ? Swarthmore should not settle for being a place that encourages the exercise of constitutional rights. That should be a given! Swarthmore should aim to be an actually loving and just school.

    I admire Valerie Smith in general, but it seems like too often political leaders praise activists for raising their voices when activists don’t need praise – they need answers!

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