Dear President Jordan and the College Administration,
We, the members of the St. Mary’s College Community, write to reaffirm the rights of all of our college’s community members, and our institutional responsibility to them, during a time of intense uncertainty. As part of this reaffirmation, we recommend that the College declare itself a “sanctuary center of higher education,” committed to protecting the members of its community from unfair deportation, investigation, or other forms of intimidation.
This is a moment for our community to reiterate the sentiment embodied in the SMCM Nondiscrimination Policy: “St. Mary’s College of Maryland does not discriminate or condone discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender/gender identity and expression of color, religion, creed, age, genetic information, disability, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or marital status.”
As stated in our college Mission & Values statement, we foster a “collaborative learning community” that values “the power of a diverse community; local, national, and global engagement; social responsibility and civic-mindedness; and civility and respect for self [and] others.” Furthermore, our current Strategic Plan reaffirms our commitment to “aim toward greater diversity among students, faculty, and staff” – including racial and ethnic diversity – because we believe that “diversity brings strength.” We want our students to “recognize and challenge injustice” and should be prepared to do the same ourselves.
In keeping with these commitments, we recommend that SMCM register its support for the safety and security of students, faculty, and staff who may lose legal protections for their immigration status or face other serious threats and forms of discrimination. We propose that the College promote sanctuary by the following means: not granting permission for the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement to enter campus; instructing our Public Safety officers to refrain from being involved in federal immigration enforcement; and not sharing information about members of the College community for such purposes without a warrant.
When students, faculty, and staff join our community, we ask them to abide by the St. Mary’s Way, which includes “examining and shaping the functional ethical values of our changing world.” At this moment we should model what we seek to instill in our students as well as our teachers and support staff. By standing against the forces of nativism and xenophobia, we reaffirm our core values and show our support for the members of our community who have been, or might soon be, targeted.
The Point News does not support nor reject this petition. The petition is published here as a way for the campus community to read about what is discussed in an anonymous Opinion letter, published here.