Despite vice president’s promise, UConn releases no updates for undocumented students

UConn students participate in the Rally for the People to protest the election of Donald Trump as president and demand that UConn create a system to handle the deportation of a student on Nov. 9, 2016. The university failed to give a response by Dec. 1, the date they promised to respond by. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion failed to release an action plan on Thursday for how the University of Connecticut will respond in the event that a student is deported, after a previous statement saying they would be Dec. 1.

Chief Diversity Officer Joelle Murchison told students her department would release “as much as we possibly can” by Dec. 1 at “Rally for the People” on Nov. 9, according to the Daily Campus. This demand was one of several made by student activists at the demonstration, in addition to calling for UConn to become a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants and their families.

Murchison and other members of her department were not available for comment.

According to President-Elect Donald Trump’s 100 day plan, his administration intends to cancel or allow the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to expire, exposing over 600,000 undocumented students to deportation. There are about 100 students attending UConn under DACA, Undergraduate Student Government student body president Dan Byrd told the Daily Campus.

Student organizer Eric Cruz Lopez, a member of CT Students for a Dream demanded UConn lay out an action plan on how the university will support undocumented students who may be faced with deportation, as well as how it will handle their credits, financial aid and any money they have paid for tuition/room and board if they are forced to leave mid-semester.

University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said that the Office of Diversity & Inclusion plans to follow up with USG and other interested students. As a public university, much of what UConn does on this and other issues is guided by state laws and policies, she said.

“The University is currently examining this issue in detail. We look forward to sharing more information throughout the campus community,” Reitz said.

Information on when the university intends to release the action plan was not available in time for publication.

“We haven’t forgotten that this is what we demanded,” said Farzana Zubair, a seventh-semester human development and family studies major.

Zubair said student activists on campus are still strategizing about how they will react to the university’s failure to release an action plan, but that they intend to be present at the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 13.


Kimberly Armstrong is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.armstrong@uconn.edu.