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Students at Illinois University Seek to Make Their School a “Sanctuary Campus”

According to The Southern Illinoisan, students at Southern Illinois University are asking school administrators to designate the campus a “formal sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, their families, and related community members.”

At request of student leaders  SIU administrators explore implications of  sanctuary campus  designation   SIU

The push to become a “sanctuary campus” is coming from the Graduate and Professional Student Council, as well as the Undergraduate Student Government.

In speaking with The Southern, Brandon Woudenberg, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, said, “Given the amount of students that could very literally be in fear of their legal status vis-a-vis doctoral students or international students from the Middle East, which we have a fairly decent percentage of at SIU, we wanted to make sure they know we supported them and that they were aware we were advocating on their behalf.”

While school administrators have yet to respond formally to the request, they are, reportedly, giving the matter some consideration. However, based on a preliminary response by SIU Carbondale’s Interim Chnacellor Brad Colwell, the kids should not be terribly hopeful about getting what they seek. Colwell pointed out that the school would surely be at risk of losing important federal funding if it were to travel such a route, saying, “The concept of a sanctuary campus is complex and brings with it a number of legal questions. We do not want to go forward in a way that has unintended consequences for the university and all of its students.”

The effort at SIU is not the first of its kind at an Illinois campus. The administrators at the University of Illinois recently vetoed a proposal by faculty and students there to create a sanctuary for illegals, declaring that the school would adhere to state and federal laws.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large