Letter From Chico State President

To: Campus Community
From: President Gayle E. Hutchinson

It’s with a heavy heart that I write to you as a follow-up to my message last week regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has allowed eligible undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children to receive protection from deportation, an ability to travel internationally, and the potential to obtain a work permit that must be renewed every two years.

The White House announced today its intention to rescind DACA, unless Congress acts to replace it within the next six months.

I encourage you to read CSU Chancellor Timothy White’s message that has been included below.

While the implications for our students will vary according to personal circumstances, including each family’s situation, I can fully understand and empathize with how this development can cause a real sense of uncertainty and vulnerability.

With that in mind, I believe it’s imperative to remind all of our campus community members that our undocumented students’ enrollment at the University, tuition, or financial aid are not impacted by the change. CSU enrollment and tuition policies are not based on DACA status and, therefore, are not impacted. AB 540 grants eligible students the right to attend college and apply for California Dream Act financial aid.

The state funding available under the California Dream Act will not change. For more information about financial aid programs, click here.

I also want to highlight the resources we have on campus to support our Chico community members who are undocumented or come from mixed-status families. Our Dream Student Support Team and Dream Center staff provide financial aid resources, health and wellness assistance, and academic guidance. The Center also provides tools for advocacy and trainings on issues regarding immigration. Any of our students, faculty, and staff are welcomed to contact center director Elizabeth Alaniz atealaniz@csuchico.edu or 530-898-5818 with questions they may have and to learn how they can support our campus community members who are impacted by the federal government’s decision. The Cross Cultural Leadership Center is another resource for students.

My heart goes out to the many young people and families in our country caught in this stressful situation in which they are seeking an education as a pathway to a productive career. This is no way to treat young people who are striving against many odds and barriers to become engaged members and future leaders of our communities.

I take solace in knowing that, here at Chico State, we are collectively committed to fulfilling our educational and public mission as a safe, welcoming, and inclusive learning and working environment for all. Please join me in demonstrating that commitment to all who are affected by today’s White House decision. If you want to help our students, I encourage you to contact your members of Congress to push for a bi-partisan legislative solution to immigration reform and support for DACA.

 

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To: Campus Community
From: CSU Chancellor Timothy White

Dear CSU community,

I was deeply disappointed by this morning’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program enabled thousands of academically qualified Californians to pursue their dreams at California State University campuses, and was widely acknowledged as a strategic benefit to our state and, indeed, our nation. I am joining with colleagues throughout the United States to urge Congress to pursue legislation that will restore the heart of this forward-thinking program in a timely manner.

The university’s enrollment and tuition policies are not based on DACA status so enrollment, tuition and financial aid for students is not impacted by the ending of the program. Additionally, state funding under the California Dream Act is not based on DACA status and will not change.

Our mission to provide excellent educational opportunities to all Californians shall not waver. We will continue to vigorously pursue the CSU’s commitment to advance and extend knowledge, learning and culture; to provide opportunities for individuals to develop intellectually, personally and professionally; and to prepare educated and responsible alumni who are ready and able to contribute to California’s culture and economy. To that end, I will continue to advocate for our current and future students and employees who are affected by this unfortunate development.

I encourage our DACA students to explore information recently posted here to learn more about your rights, the potential effect of the DACA repeal, and the steps we are taking to assist with the completion of your educational pursuits. This website, which also has information about legal support services, will be updated with any new information as soon as it is available.

To our wonderful CSU employees impacted by this revocation, I am troubled and dismayed that without any new federal action the CSU will be required to end the employment of some of its DACA recipients as early as March 6, 2018. While our hope is that members of Congress will pass legislation restoring the protections afforded by DACA, if they fail to act timely, regretfully, there are no options to allow CSU to continue to employ you. I am troubled by this uncertainty and the potential loss of your contributions, creativity, energy and expertise, but I am optimistic that Congress will act to address the issue. Campus Human Resource Officers and AVPs/Deans of Faculty are available to assist faculty and staff, Student Affairs will provide support to students, and Systemwide Human Resources and the Office of General Counsel will continue to provide information and additional resources. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to utilize the Employee Assistance Programs programs and counseling centers on their respective campuses.

Again, let me express my personal disappointment toward this action that will have such a profoundly negative impact on our nation, our state, our university, and so many of our colleagues, students and friends. I hope you’ll join me in urging members of Congress to work towards a long-term solution.