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SGA to host immigration town hall, vote on DACA resolution

October 17, 2017


NKU Student Government Association

SGA will address DACA concerns at their town hall meeting on Oct. 19.

Student Government Association will address concerns about the future of DACA recipients by hosting an immigration town hall on Oct. 19 in the Student Union.

According to event organizer and Academic Affairs Chair Janiah Miller, administrators will clarify how FERPA could protect DACA students. Panelists will include Asst. Vice President of Student Affairs Arnie Slaughter and NKU registrar W. Allen Cole.

DACA, or Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals, is an immigration policy that allows undocumented individuals to work and attend school in the U.S.

Recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” are required to renew their applications every two years. US Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that over 900,000 individuals have been approved for DACA since 2012.

President Donald Trump rescinded DACA on Sept. 5 and called on Congress to create a replacement immigration policy before March 5. New applications were not considered after Trump’s announcement, and renewals were not accepted after Oct. 5.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) prevents family members or other third parties from accessing student records. Third parties can access records with written consent from the student, with a subpoena or with a court order.

Miller said that recent student support for DACA has grown.

“I think a lot of the other communities are starting to really understand this issue, and it does affect other ethnic groups as well,” Miller said.

As well as addressing broader immigration issues with students and faculty panelists, SGA will discuss an upcoming resolution on solidarity with NKU DACA students at the meeting.

The resolution advocates for “solidarity with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students by establishing Northern Kentucky University as a safe community which fosters a positive learning environment and protects the rights and privacy of all students on campus.”

Author of the resolution and Student Rights Committee Chair Jachelle Sologuren said Pres. Trump’s actions added a sense of urgency to draft the upcoming SGA resolution, which goes to a vote on Oct. 23.

“The idea was started to protect DACA students, and then this year we saw that Trump wanted to rescind the entire act,” event organizer Sologuren said. “That kind of brought it more to the forefront.”

Specifically, Miller and Sologuren would like to see NKU adopt a “safety plan” in the event that government agencies request student immigration information. Miller suggested that a future SGA resolution might petition administration for such a plan.

Above all, Sologuren and Miller said they want students and faculty who read their resolution to realize the human aspect of this political issue.

“They should take away the stories that will come out of it. They should take away the urgency of the situation that’s going on in America right now,” Sologuren said. “We prize diversity and inclusiveness so heavily, but we need to make sure we support them.”

SGA’s DACA Town Hall will be held at 5 p.m. on Oct. 19 in SU 107A. Panelists include Interim AVP of Student Engagement Arnie Slaughter, NKU registrar W. Allen Cole, Chase Law professor Felix Okpe and two student DACA recipients.

SGA meets every Monday at 3:30 p.m. in SU 104.

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