Sanctuary campus effort persists; Mazey stands ground

By Keefe Watson Campus Editor and By Keefe Watson Campus Editor

University students and staff members lined the walkway leading to the McFall Center before Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, rallying in support of a sanctuary campus petition created in November and denied by President Mary Ellen Mazey last month.

Despite efforts by some students and staff to have the topic of sanctuary campuses on the Faculty Senate agenda, it was once again was not placed on the agenda.

However, Mazey did voluntarily speak about the topic during her update to the faculty and public present.

“It is about diversity and inclusion on this campus,” Mazey said. “We do support our Falcon students and the Office of International Programs has been supporting them, [and] we support the BRIDGE Act.”

President Mazey holds true to her previous stance of denying sanctuary campus and supporting the BRIDGE Act.

Mazey recently signed a letter, along with 600 other university presidents across the country, put forward by the American Council on Education stating opposition to the Jan. 27 executive order limiting travel to the United States from certain countries.

The letter was addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly.

“You have inherited a wide array of challenges, central among them immigration and protection of our nation,” Mazey read from the letter.

The letter “set forth principles” about the roles of international students, faculty and staff at American campuses.

“International exchange is a core value and strength for American higher education,” Mazey read.

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The letter credits international students and researchers with technological and scientific advances, and calls for policies that will both protect Americans while still allowing for international partnership.

Mazey emphasized the importance of not violating or going against any international laws.

“We must work within that legislative process and have respect for the law,” she said.

Since the last Faculty Senate meeting, Governor John Kasich proposed his budget, and Mazey talked about his proposal.

“The Governor has submitted his budget proposals to the state legislatures,” Mazey said. “And he did propose to freeze tuition and all fees.”

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If the legislature approves the budget, then students can expect the tuition freeze to remain in place.

According to Mazey, the Governor also proposed increases in some need-based financial aid funding.

The Governor has also expressed an interest in cutting the costs of textbooks for students, proposing the idea of increasing tuition by $300, only if textbooks are in turn covered by the cost of tuition. Faculty Senate has created an ad hoc committee to address the rising textbook costs students face in an effort to learn more about those exact costs.

Provost Rodney Rogers highlighted the coming Presidents’ Day preview day on Feb. 20.

The preview day will have at least 7 percent more visitors come than did last year, and the entering class this fall is expected to once again be the largest in the University’s history.

Rogers also discussed House Bill 64 that was passed nearly two years ago.

Per the law, an analysis was done to compare enrollment in duplicate programs at the University and the University of Toledo.

“The state of Ohio, under House Bill 64…breaks that state into different regions,” Rogers said. “We are in the Northwest Ohio region with the University of Toledo.”

The President and Provosts of the two universities will meet soon to discuss programs held at both institutions where at least one has less than “robust” enrollment. About 15 of these programs exist.

The Faculty Senate also voted to create a new Masters in European Studies program.

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If the program does come to fruition, it will be an interdisciplinary study incorporating study abroad and internship components. It would be the first of its kind in Ohio.