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Sanctuary Campus Working Group Final Report

Parrish Hall


Earlier today, President Valerie Smith shared the following message with the Swarthmore community:

On December 2, 2016, the Board of Managers announced their decision to declare Swarthmore a sanctuary campus for DACA and undocumented students. This announcement served as a powerful affirmation of the 2,000 members of our community who asked that Swarthmore become a sanctuary campus and the more than 300 students, staff, and faculty who gathered in front of Parrish Hall on November 16 to demonstrate their support for and solidarity with undocumented students.

I’d like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the statement Board Chair Thomas E. Spock ‘78 and I released last December: “At this moment, when there is a rising national rhetoric of intolerance and acts of hate that threaten people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ individuals, Jews, women, and immigrants, among others, we affirm our protection of these groups, and we affirm our intention to support all students in their quest to pursue their education without government interference.” Especially at this time when the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is uncertain, I want to assure you that we remain steadfast in our commitment to support all our students. I have just written to President Trump again urging him to keep the DACA program intact, and I have joined other presidents of Quaker colleges and universities in signing a joint letter to the same effect.

Last spring, I also convened a Sanctuary Campus Working Group and charged its members with recommending resources, policies, and services to support DACA and undocumented students. I am grateful to Matt Zucker, associate professor of engineering, and Shá Duncan Smith, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development, for their leadership; to the entire working group for their hard work; and to all community members who participated for their observations and questions throughout the process.

I’m pleased to share with you today the Sanctuary Campus Working Group Report [pdf]. The result of careful consideration and far-reaching collaboration with numerous offices across campus, this report provides a thorough analysis of our current policies and proposes 10 additional recommendations. We have already implemented the following three recommendations:

  • Form a uniform policy regarding requests for information and access to campus facilities or individuals and present it clearly to all community members;
  • Provide DACA and undocumented students with names of qualified attorneys willing to provide assistance and legal representation in both routine and urgent circumstances; furthermore, urge DACA and undocumented students to build a relationship with a qualified attorney well before their services are needed; and
  • Continue updating the College website to reflect our most current understanding of legal/political issues, and to ensure current and prospective students know the resources available to them.

Our work on the remaining recommendations is already underway. The Self-Study Action Committee will continue to follow up on their progress with the appropriate offices. At this time, I ask all members of our community to review and pay particular attention to the revised policy on requests for information that I have copied at the end of this message. I appreciate your cooperation.

Ensuring safety and sanctuary for all members of our campus community will require continued vigilance. Please know that we will remain unwavering in our commitment to foster a community in which all who work and live here can feel welcomed, respected, and heard.


Valerie Smith

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Requests for Information and Access to Campus Facilities or Community Members

The College has recently updated its protocols regarding requests for information and access to campus facilities or community members received from outside individuals.

Public Safety is the first point of contact for all such requests made by law enforcement and immigration officials.

Requests for all other types of information received from process servers, attorneys, or government officials should be directed to the Office of General Counsel

If you see suspicious activity on campus by persons unknown to you, please report it to Public Safety.

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