September 5, 2017
Dear Oberlin Community,
Oberlin College holds a singular and distinctive place in higher education, secured since its founding in 1833 by an enduring commitment to academic excellence, social justice, equity, and opportunity. Today, we are called to continue that legacy as we fight for the rights of young, undocumented individuals who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since 2012, DACA has allowed thousands of young people to work and study without fear of deportation from the United States, the country they have always known as home.
Today, Attorney General Sessions announced a plan to phase out the DACA program in six months. While we assess the impact of this announcement to members of the Oberlin community, the Division of Student Life has planned support services designed to specifically meet the needs of undocumented and DACA students, including the appointment of a program coordinator who will work directly with them.
We reaffirm our commitment to undocumented and DACA students at Oberlin College, in keeping with our long-standing policies on non-discrimination, privacy, and public safety.
We will continue to admit, enroll, and support through degree completion all students without regard to their immigration status.
Oberlin College will continue to maintain a strong commitment to the privacy of student records for all students, consistent with state and federal laws. While the college complies with federal requirements associated with managing its authorized international student and scholar programs, it otherwise does not share sensitive information such as immigration status. We do not provide information on immigration status to anyone except when required by law.
Oberlin’s Office of Safety and Security does not make inquiries into citizenship status. Similarly, the City of Oberlin has passed legislation stating that its officials and offices will not request information about the immigration status of individuals in a variety of circumstances unless otherwise required by federal or state law, regulation, or court decision.
Finally, I will be joining with other college leaders to advocate for federal legislation that will provide long-term stability to undocumented individuals who were brought to this country as children and who have contributed greatly to our communities. Attached you will find a letter which I and my fellow presidents of the “Ohio Five” colleges—Denison, Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster—are sending to Ohio’s U.S. senators.
I am proud to lead this community of scholars, thinkers, musicians, artists, and activists in the great work which will lead to a more fair and equitable nation and world.
Carmen Twillie Ambar, President