CHENEY, Wash. – The Eastern Washington University Board of Trustees released a statement Tuesday in response to students' petition that the campus become a sanctuary that would protect undocumented students.
While the BOT did not specifically state they would become a “sanctuary campus” they did reaffirm their commitment to protecting students and staff.
“Although we do not have the power to prohibit federal officers from entering our campus, we will do everything in our power to ensure they respect and support our mission to educate and transform the lives of all our students,” the release read.
The BOT said while a sanctuary is defined as a “place of refuge” or a “port in a storm,” they assert Eastern is "much more than this."
“While we continue efforts to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, we also continue our profound commitment to launch an educated workforce for the region and station,” the statement read. “Student success if the heart of our mission.”
The BOT’s response comes from a petition submitted to them by students asking for EWU to become a sanctuary campus. If Eastern were to become a sanctuary, they would ban immigration authorities from coming on campus without a warrant. At the same time, university police could also refuse to cooperate with federal agents who wish to deport a specific student.
The board also stated that EWU wants to provide further discussion and will do so in the coming year with opportunities with the President's Dialogue on Diversity with three or more events scheduled between January and June 2017.