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Petition asks EWU to become a sanctuary campus

Students, staff and faculty at Eastern Washington University pass through Cheney, Wash., campus between classes April 22, 2009. At rear are the Dressler (left) and Pearce Residence Halls. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
Students, staff and faculty at Eastern Washington University pass through Cheney, Wash., campus between classes April 22, 2009. At rear are the Dressler (left) and Pearce Residence Halls. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)

Some faculty, staff and students at Eastern Washington University are petitioning the school to become a “sanctuary” campus following Donald Trump’s presidential victory.

“In the wake of recent political events and the imperiled status of undocumented students on this campus and in this nation, we – the undersigned Eastern Washington University students, faculty, staff, and alumni – ask you to implement a plan to declare our campus a sanctuary for undocumented students, staff, and their family members who face imminent deportation,” the petition reads.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were more than 240 signatures.

Broadly, the petition asks the university to publicly support undocumented students, people of color, Muslims and LGBTQ+ students.

Specifically, the petition asks that the university take a number of steps, including declaring that EWU will refuse to comply with immigration authorities on deportations or raids; refuse to release information regarding students’ immigration status; and create an office dedicated to counseling people in the campus community who are affected by Trump’s campaign claims.

The petition asks that the university implement these steps immediately. On Tuesday, university President Mary Cullinan addressed a student organized unity gathering and emphasized that EWU will accept, respect and protect all students.

EWU spokesman Dave Meany was first made aware of the petition Thursday. The petition is addressed to the the board of trustees, which meets Friday.

Earlier this week the chancellor of California’s state university system said the state’s 23 schools will not work with immigration officials to enforce federal immigration laws, unless forced by law.


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