The Student Government Association approved a resolution to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, recipient students during its meeting Nov. 7.
The resolution, authored by SGA president Andi Dahmer and former SGA senator Francisco Serrano, says its purpose is “for the Student Government Association of Western Kentucky University to stand in solidarity with WKU students who are DACA recipients.”
Serrano said he was “glad that the SGA was able to finally realize that their true role here, and that is to promote the well-being and evolvement and encourage diversity and tolerance between all of our students.”
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, just under 790,000 people were DACA recipients before President Trump ended the immigration program in early September.
DACA was created by former President Obama and protected children who came to the United States as illegal immigrants from deportation and also provided them with a work permit.
This SGA resolution was revised from a proposed resolution supporting a “clean D.R.E.A.M. Act” that was rejected last week.
“The previous resolution was calling on action by legislators, so it was discussing the D.R.E.A.M. Act specifically,” Dahmer said at the meeting. “This is internally within our student community, within Western Kentucky University over a jurisdiction that we do have, so it’s not calling upon anybody else to do anything. It’s just saying that we as students, as a student body stand in support of other students who just happen to be recipients of DACA.”
The resolution passed with a 32-1 vote, with the singular “no” coming from freshman senator Will Pride.
Dahmer said Murray State University and the University of Louisville have similar resolutions, and WKU was one of the last schools in Kentucky to pass something of this nature.
“I just wanted to make it known that we all belong on this campus and we are not second class citizens,” Serrano said shortly after reading a comment from a College Heights Herald article he was mentioned in where someone called him an “illegal” and told him to “go home.”
Serrano said the “end goal” of the resolution is to help students graduate from WKU and work toward a path to permanent citizenship.
However, Serrano said he is not done with trying to help those in need.
“This Friday we’re going to be doing the DACA Day of Action where we’ll be calling legislators and writing letters to our elected officials about the issue and letting them know that we want a D.R.E.A.M. Act passed,” Serrano said.
Earlier in the meeting, a separate bill passed with a unanimous vote to fund the Go With the Flow Program, which would allocate over $580 from the senate discretionary fund and allow WKU Health Services to provide free feminine hygiene products in the first floor bathrooms of Grise Hall, DSU, Cherry Hall, Snell Hall and South Campus.
Another resolution discussed was “to support the building, placement and upkeep of more ‘Blue Lights.’”
The resolution requests to add more emergency call boxes, or “blue lights,” to campus, citing “a rising complaint among the student body is the lack of ‘Blue Lights’ in high traffic areas,” according to the agenda.
The resolution passed unanimously.
Reporter Cameron Coyle can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]