Hundreds of students and faculty at Eastern Washington
University have asked the administration to make eastern
a sanctuary campus for undocumented or international
The EWU student body is one of the more diverse in
the state. Welcome for all students is a part of the
campus culture that often goes without saying.
There's signs [in the halls] that say Eastern Washington
is here to serve you, as students, we're here to protect
you. We're here for diversity, not to discriminate.
We're a campus for everyone, said EWU student Price
But some of the presidential campaign rhetoric surrounding
new immigration policies has students worried.
There's a few of them that, when the election happened,
they were scared, Jimerson said.
Jimerson lives in the same dorm as several international
students. Though the rhetoric used by President Elect
Trump was directed mostly toward immigrants from Mexico,
these students say the language hit too close to home.
They leave in January, and [one student said] 'I
don't think I'm going to come back,' Jimerson said.
Last week, a petition began to circulate, calling
on the university to publicly defend it's commitment
to protecting all students.
Having that sanctuary so they could just know that
they're safe on campus is really important actually,
said student Willie Stoutzenberger.
At last check, nearly 700 students and faculty have
signed the document.
Even if they're not from this country, why does that
matter? They still need an education, said student
Depending on what new policies require, there might
not be much the university could do, as it is bound
by federal rules and regulations
But the EWU Board of Trustees has released a statement
saying that the university seeks to be more than a
sanctuary, but also a place of dialogue and growth.
The statement does not definitively designate EWU
as a sanctuary campus. It does emphasize the school's
commitment to its students.
In part, it reads: Although we do not have the power
to prohibit federal officers from entering our campus,
we will do everything in our power to ensure they
respect and support our mission to educate and transform
the lives of all our students." The statement also
reiterates that EWU complies with federal privacy
laws that protect student educational records, including
any immigration status information.