Whitworth's Commitments to Undocumented Students
April 7, 2016
Dear Whitworth community,
Today, April 7, is a day on which institutions of higher education around the country are expressing their support for the undocumented students on their campuses, as well as for those who aspire to study and learn at colleges and universities in the U.S. At Whitworth, we have attempted to be unequivocal in our support for providing an education of mind and heart, deeply rooted in the Christian faith, "to all lovers of truth and learning," to quote George F. Whitworth, regardless of immigration status. Today, in conjunction with this national effort, I want to voice my ongoing personal support, and Whitworth's sustaining commitment, to serving our undocumented students. At the core of this commitment is our pursuit of access, equal opportunity and social justice, each rooted in the Gospel of Christ.
Further, I'm grateful that Washington state passed the REAL Hope Act, Washington's version of the Dream Act, signed into law in 2014, which grants unfettered access to both in-state tuition and state financial aid for all undocumented students. Many of Whitworth's undocumented students are able to pursue their higher-education goals because of the institutional support that Whitworth offers and the Washington State Need Grant funds they have received.
What is most important about today is the opportunity to express our gratitude for the multitude of ways in which Whitworth's undocumented students contribute to the life and mission of the university. Whitworth is a stronger institution because of their presence.
I'm happy that Whitworth has a student club, the Spokane Dream Project, that is led by and for undocumented students so that issues important to them, and to all of us by extension, can be brought to our attention. Additionally, using funds from a #WhitworthUnited grant, we are planning to host an undocumented immigrant conference for students and educators alike.
In the coming weeks, I'll be meeting once again with Whitworth's undocumented students to see how we can continue to support them as they pursue their dreams. For more information about supporting undocumented students, please visit www.wadreamcoalition.org.
Beck A. Taylor | President