Merced Community College District, Resolution 17-16 (March 14, 2017)

IN SUPPORT OF UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS AND AFFIRMING THE PRIVACY OF STUDENT RECORDS AND SUPPORTING DIVERSITY AND UNITY

WHEREAS, Merced College has students who are undocumented immigrants, many of whom are here due to circumstances beyond their control and are experiencing fear and anxiety for themselves and/or their family members; and

WHEREAS, the Merced College mission states that the College “…serves as a gateway to the future, providing accessible, affordable, and relevant education and workforce training for students in our richly diverse region” and makes no distinction about a student’s immigration status or U.S. citizenship status in providing education services; and

WHEREAS, the Merced College core values under Diversity and Equity states “we embrace diversity and equity as community strengths and celebrate these qualities in our institution;” and

WHEREAS, Merced College has a proud history of embracing members of the college community irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship, abilities and political views; and

WHEREAS, California Community Colleges, including Merced College, are open to all students who meet the minimum requirements for admission, regardless of immigration status; and

WHEREAS, the California community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University have issued a joint statement defending the right of all students to obtain a higher education in California and opposing the threat to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; and

WHEREAS, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has issued a Statement of Values and commitment to Undocumented Students, reaffirming that the Chancellor’s Office will not release any personally identifiable student information, including data related to immigration status, without a judicial warrant, subpoena, or court order unless authorized by law, and will not cooperate with any federal effort to create a registry of individuals based on any protected characteristics such as religion, national origin, race, or sexual orientation, unless required by law; and

WHEREAS, Merced College will comply with and enforce the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which prohibits the release of any personally identifiable student education records, including data related to immigration status, without student authorization or without a judicial warrant, subpoena, or court order unless authorized by law; and

WHEREAS, the Associated Students of Merced College passed a resolution “to protect all students by ensuring a safe and undisturbed learning environment;” and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of Merced College reaffirms its commitment to the values of inclusion, diversity, unity, open discussion, and success for all students; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the district will work to provide training for staff and faculty on the challenges faced by marginalized communities; and will work with community partners to provide resources for these communities; and

BE IT RESOLVED, that the district, including campus police, will not detain, question, or arrest any individual solely on the basis of undocumented immigration status, suspected or confirmed, except as required by judicial warrant, subpoena, or court order. Unless required by law, the district shall not cooperate with any federal or state effort to create a registry of individuals based on any legally protected characteristics, such as religion, national origin, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. No confidential student records will be released without a judicial warrant, subpoena or court order, unless authorized by the student or required by law.