The University of Connecticut’s Dean of Students Eleanor Daugherty attended an Undergraduate Student Government caucus meeting on Wednesday to talk about the administration’s plans to support undocumented students, to speak on how the university will assist students affected by Donald Trump’s recent immigration ban and to discuss creating a more welcoming campus climate.
Daugherty repeated the university’s plans to assist undocumented students. The UConn police department will not inquire or hold anyone based on immigration status and the university will use its global connections and/or offer online course to undocumented students in the event they are deported, Daugherty said.
While UConn has not called itself a sanctuary city or campus, “We’re essentially acting like that,” Daugherty added.
Daugherty said the university is working to reach out to UConn Law alumni and setting them up with undocumented students and their families to provide free consultation and representation, in the event they need it.
Daugherty also said Vice President of Global Affairs Dan Weiner is putting together a task force to determine how the university will be affected by and react to Trump’s immigration ban. That task force is expected to meet next week, Daugherty said.
Daugherty said her main concerns are with students who feel marginalized on campus.
“What I am the most concerned about right now is the sense of well-being and worth of our students. We have a lot of students from a lot of different backgrounds who are hurting and we need to take care of ourselves,” Daugherty said.
Daugherty also took questions from USG members.
One member raised the question of how an average student, not connected to administration in the way USG members are, can express their concerns to administration.
Daugherty said that while resources like USG, Residential Life, and the cultural centers exist on campus, there isn’t a simple answer.
“The issue is… have we built pathways up for us to hear what is happening from folks who have the greatest engagement with students?” Daugherty said.
The university has seen a few protests from students since Trump’s election demanding action from administration.
“In a demonstration, if we’re presented with a demand, the university will respond and seek a dialogue,” Daugherty said.
USG President Dan Byrd said by seeking a dialogue with the administration following a rally that demanded university support for undocumented students, progress was made.
“Undocumented students and USG presented what we had asked for [to administration] and we had a conversation about how we get that done,” Byrd said.
Daugherty also stressed the importance of having a community mindset on campus, referencing the “Husky” identity many students associate themselves with.
“We can talk about policy tomorrow, but today we need to return to a place of caring,” Daugherty said.
Daugherty ended the presentation by encouraging USG members to continue to bring their concerns to her and other administrative members.
“There’s no clear path, so please keep us informed. Let us know what we can do,” Daugherty said.
Schae Beaudoin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.