By Walter Tribley
In response to recent rhetoric on the national level about changing immigration policies that may negatively affect undocumented immigrant students, Monterey Peninsula College governing board members, administrators and staff have communicated to students that the college provides a safe space, providing education to all students regardless of immigration status.
In concert with my leadership team, a letter was recently distributed to the MPC community stating that MPC supports the academic and career goals of all of our students through our educational and student services programs. These quality programs will continue to be offered to our “Dream Act Students” on an ongoing basis. Further, MPC values our diverse student and workforce population. We are a college of inclusion. A college that creates “safe spaces” so our students can be challenged and grow. The national conversation will not change our mission or our resolve to teach and support – so ALL our students can grow.
In a special meeting last Wednesday (12/14), the MPC governing board unanimously adopted a resolution of support and commitment to undocumented students. The resolution is consistent with the positions of the University of California and California State University systems and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office guidance on values and commitment to undocumented students.
Adhering to that guidance, MPC security officers will not question any individual solely on the basis of (suspected) undocumented status. In addition, MPC will not cooperate with any federal effort to create a registry of individuals based on any protected characteristics such as religion, national origin, race, or sexual orientation.
Finally, MPC will not release confidential student records, including information related to immigration status, without a judicial warrant, subpoena, or court order, unless authorized by the student.
MPC has an ethnically diverse student population and is designated under federal law as a Hispanic-serving Institution. The college does not seek or keep record of the citizenship status of its students.
Our mission is to support student success for everyone. In an effort to support our students and campus community, the college would like to make its student body and the community aware that support sessions have been scheduled that may assist individuals with their ability to handle anxieties related to post-election concerns, or others.
Our students are learning to form and express their points of view in a manner that should lead to a generation of politicians that can put their ideologies in perspective to work together for our nation. It is through such education that we can hope for a future in which harmful partisan rhetoric is not valued in our candidates.
Again, MPC is a safe space for all students. We are a great institution and one with a rich history of providing our diverse communities a high-quality education enriched with extraordinary student support. This has not changed because of politics at the national level.
(Walter Tribley is President/Superintendent of the Monterey Peninsula Community College District.)