Update: US16/17-09: Declaring UO a Sanctuary Campus

1/30/2017: The administration will host a town hall Monday at 6PM, EMU Ballroom, on the Trump Travel Ban and the Sanctuary resolution implementation. http://around.uoregon.edu/content/campus-town-hall-address-questions-immigration

1/28/2017: I’ve asked President Schill and VP Alex-Assensoh for an update on the administration’s implementation of the recommendations in this resolution and how President Trump’s “extreme vetting” order will affect UO. We expect to have more information this week and a full report by the end of the quarter.

Passed 11/16/2017: Senate Resolution: “University of Oregon as Sanctuary Campus”

Date of Notice: 11/15/2016

Current Status: Passed

Motion Type: Resolution

Sponsor: Lanie Millar (Romance Languages), Kristin Yarris (International Studies), Lynn Stephen (Anthropology), Monique Balbuena, ( CHC & Senator), Pedro García-Caro, (Romance Languages and Latin American Studies & Senator)



WHEREAS the University of Oregon affirms its core values include “equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community.”

WHEREAS the Senate and our academic community and peers across the country are concerned about the recent increase in hate crimes and inflammatory language around the United States, including at the University of Oregon.

WHEREAS there have been repeated examples of threats against women, LGBTQAI-identified individuals, specific ethnic and religious groups, and immigrants during and after a divisive presidential election.

WHEREAS President Schill’s Nov. 15th message to the campus community maintains that “we condemn any threat or effort to intimidate anyone at the university. We are a community of scholars. Efforts to divide us based upon the color of our skin, our nationality, our immigration status, our abilities, our diversity of thought, our gender, or our sexual orientation must be called out and stopped.”

WHEREAS Proposed immigration policies of the incoming presidential administration could undermine the safety and security of members of our educational community and their families, particularly those students and staff without the privileges of US citizenship.

WHEREAS Recent initiatives such as Oregon’s 2013 Tuition Equity Law and the Oregon Opportunity grants help communicate the message that UO is an educational community open to all, regardless of immigration status.

WHEREAS Two internal 2011 memos indicate that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are subject to certain restrictions upon entering college campuses, and should avoid persecuting high school and college students.



Enforcement actions covered by the policy include arrests, interviews, searches, and surveillance for the purposes of immigration enforcement.

WHEREAS a large number of universities and colleges throughout the country are declaring themselves to be a “Sanctuary Campus” to signal their their continued commitment to protect all its members regardless of their immigration status.


THEREFORE, the Senate of the University of Oregon, REQUESTS that the university administration take the following actions, to the extent legally possible:

  1. Develop a protocol to make UO a Sanctuary Campus, in order to protect the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff, and the broader community.
  2. Protect student privacy by restricting the release of information about students’ immigration status to law enforcement agencies, including ICE.
  3. Instruct campus police to refrain from collaborating with ICE for the purposes of immigration enforcement.
  4. Refuse access to campus to federal immigration officials for the purposes of immigration enforcement, except in exigent circumstances.
  5. Assign a specific administrative office to assist our DACA students and other students who lack the protections of citizenship on a strictly confidential basis.
  6. Implement campus-wide training in de-escalation intervention techniques and UPstander intervention, including for UO campus police.
  7. Commit to providing adequate mental health services for our students, including mental health professionals who have competency in working with politically marginalized communities. 
  8. Implement a forum for ongoing feedback from students, faculty and staff about campus climate and additional future actions to protect the safety and dignity of the UO community.

20 thoughts on “Update: US16/17-09: Declaring UO a Sanctuary Campus”

  1. Very much against this. Unless they have a student visa, undocumented immigrants are breaking the law by being here. I understand the moral standpoint and I’m all for equality, but this group of students are breaking the law by being here, and that should not be supported.

    1. Some individuals are undocumented because they were born (in the US) to undocumented immigrants. Some were brought here by their parents when they were to young to have a say. Should the UO not support these students because of situations beyond their control?

  2. I strongly support this motion. I also appreciate Bonnie Mann’s statement and join in offering “assistance, should it be needed, in figuring out exactly what sorts or actions would be most meaningful in making the sanctuary campus movement effective.”

  3. And with all due respect to Frank Stahl for his long service and devotion to our community, doing the right thing is usually a little more complex than stating one’s rights. Rights form a fundamental basic framework for what we CAN do legally, but rarely do they fully instruct a thinking person about what they SHOULD do. Donald Trump is fully within his rights to say all the awful things he says. With considerable discomfort, I support the free speech rights within which he CAN do so without legal consequences. Obviously I draw on a variety of other principles to arrive at my position that he SHOULD NOT say these things.

    These things become still more complex (shall we say “confused”?) when we speak on behalf of others in representative bodies. I am quite sure that all Senators actually agree to some degree with the point I’m trying to make that there are advisable limits on the Senate’s political statements due to the character of its representative basis. Consider: there is a pretty good chance that literally all the Senators voted individually for Hillary Clinton. As individuals, it is entirely fine for Senators to proclaim this endorsement and to try to persuade other individuals in the university community around them to join it. But very few (if any) of us would have been comfortable with a UO Senate resolution endorsing Hillary Clinton as president during the campaign. The nature of this workplace assembly and its representative process do not make it the right body to speak for the UO community in that way.

    Just where the line falls about how far the UO Senate SHOULD extend its resolutions beyond “academic matters as commonly understood” will always be debatable, with plenty of room for legitimate differences over how particular resolutions connect to the assembly’s nature and representative process. But to deny that Senators should consider this line is to sidestep very basic issues about how we do the right thing in this setting. We don’t get a satisfying answer to these multifaceted questions by pointing simply to the Senate’s rights to make resolutions.

    I’ll note for Bill’s benefit that no mention was made of Hitler.

    1. On paper, we are a representative body. We have recently sent lists of constituents to our senators who are statutory faculty, and are working on getting constituency lists for our classified and OA senators. The purpose is to allow for more direct communication with those who we represent.

      I do take you point that with only slight competition for elected positions, even if we are representative on paper, we might not be fully so in practice. Last year we allowed candidates to present statements when volunteering to run for elected position. Some used this opportunity to outline their background or positions, some did not.

      My feeling is that if we want to have healthy competition for elected positions then we need to make the business of the Senate relevant to the campus community. I would say that the two motions we passed yesterday after the suspension of the rules, were among the most engaging and timely motions in the last couple of years. In that sense, and because as Frank notes, the Senate can pass resolutions on whatever it feels salient, I think this was an excellent use of our legislative authority. I would also argue that the second motion—the one you wish you could have abstained on—is academic in the sense that its primary purpose was to alleviate some fear and uncertainty for a significant number of students.

    2. In using Hillary as an example of a political issue that is outside the Senate’s purview (which it clearly is), Craig fails to make the important distinction between “partisan” and “political”.

  4. I didn’t speak very eloquently in raising a question about this resolution just now at the Senate, so let me try a small mop-up operation. On the substance, I am very pleased to see UO call itself a sanctuary campus. The question I raised has to do with the representative mandate of the Senate. I would very much like to see all the individuals in the Senate, as well as other faculty, standing up to endorse the sanctuary idea. I’m less comfortable with the same individuals voting for it as the Senate, asserting a claim to speak for the faculty. We are elected, true, but usually without any competition, and even when there are multiple candidates, the elections do not include any information or explicit competition over our political beliefs. I think Senators can reasonably claim to speak for colleagues on “academic matters as commonly understood”—because we can presume, roughly, that we share interests and concerns on these issues with our peers—but that we should be circumspect about claiming this mandate as we move into political issues beyond that. I think that thoughtful people should always be careful about claims of who speaks for whom (which I think is a notion that relates to the kinds of multicultural, tolerant sensitivities reflected in the idea of sanctuary campuses).

    I don’t mean to assert that this particular resolution is the clearest example of the Senate moving beyond its mandate. Diversity IS integral to our academic mission (as stated by the previous resolution, which I supported), and the fact that UO’s President moved today toward a sanctuary status for our campus could conceivably be read as inviting approval or a statement from the Senate. My point here is more to raise the question for future Senate discussions and resolutions. To raise that question I voted against the resolution, but given that I support the substance of the resolution, I would have preferred to have an option to officially abstain. (Which is another issue….).

    For a general statement of my musings on the role of the Senate, see my recent entry on the Senate Blog. I’ll greatly appreciate reactions.

    1. In adopting the UO Constitution (unanimously, btw) the Statutory Faculty gave the Senate authority to pass resolutions on any subject. In ratifying the Constitution, the then president recognized that authority. Should the current President be unwilling to take the steps called for, he will respond to the Senate. The ensuing debate should be enlightening to all.

      1. Now, now, Mr. Senate President. Are we so dismissive of concerns about representation and process that we refuse to imagine abstentions on these grounds? Or so simplistic in our conception of doing the right thing that we quickly label acknowledgement of conflicting concerns as confusion? (Though perhaps you’re just referring to the immediate delivery of my remarks in the Senate, where yes, I could have been a little sharper and more succinct! Long day.)

        I haven’t delved into the by-laws yet—because this is a workplace assembly and as someone with a full-time job, I don’t have much time to do so—but formally recorded abstentions are a very normal part of many parliamentary procedures. When I get a moment I will take a look at the by-laws and think about proposing a motion to make it part of ours.

        1. The FTE distribution for most faculty is 40/40/20 research/teaching/service. One could argue that your Senate service is part of your full-time job, as is anything you could do to help the functioning of the body.

          I do not mean this to chide you on this. It just bothers me when people think that university service is some sort of volunteer work. For most of us, it manifestly is not, since we are expected to do this sort of work under our contract.

  5. These members of the Philosophy Department (only those who could be reached in a short period of time this afternoon are listed), strongly support the sanctuary campus motion, and offer our assistance, should it be needed, in figuring out exactly what sorts or actions would be most meaningful in making the sanctuary campus movement effective.

    Bonnie Mann, Department Head
    Daniela Vallega-Neu, Associate Head
    Beat Stawarska, Director of Graduate Studies
    Erin McKenna, Chair of the Diversity Committee
    Naomi Zack
    Colin Koopman
    Steven Brence
    Rocio Zambrana
    Alejandro Vallega
    Nicolae Morar

    Affiliated Faculty: Jerry Rosiek

    Graduate Students:
    Anna Cook
    Dana Rognlie
    Celena Simpson
    Jon LaRochelle
    Amy Billingsley
    Martina Ferrari
    Mary McLevey
    Russell Duvernoy
    Oscar Ralda

  6. I wholeheartedly support making the UO a sanctuary campus. Passing this motion would be a clear sign of our unequivocal support for all students and their families, as well as many others in our community.

  7. I strongly support this motion that would go a long way to assuaging the anxieties and vulnerability that many in our community are experiencing right now for themselves and for their family members and friends.

  8. As members of the Department of Psychology’s Committee for an Inclusive Community, we strongly endorse both the “Inclusivity” and “Sanctuary” Motions. We deeply appreciate the Senate’s timely action on these urgent matters and wish to offer any assistance we can moving forward.

    Michelle Byrne
    Krista DeStasio
    Jenn Lewis
    Rita Ludwig
    Lou Moses
    Karlena Ochoa
    Jennifer Pfeifer
    Leslie Roos

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