~ Photo above: Students protest the DACA decision Tuesday, Sept. 5, in the Free Speech Area at Fresno State
~ By Lisa Maria Boyles, Communications Specialist for the College of Arts and Humanities
University leaders — including CSU Chancellor Dr. Timothy P. White, Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and the dean and associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities — all spoke out in support of DACA students in response to the announcement of the impending end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday morning. President Trump had promised during his candidacy to end DACA.
Arts and Humanities Dean Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, pictured at left speaking to a reporter from Univision, and Associate Dean Honora Chapman were quick to react:
“Our Fresno State DREAMERS are an integral part of our hard-working, talented and visionary student body; we admire their creativity, determination and dignity. As a College of Arts and Humanities, we cultivate and represent the artistic and humanistic aspirations of all residents of this Valley and nation. Our DREAMERS are part of the fabric of our society, from kindergarten teachers to nurses and army personnel. We encourage constructive dialogue that promotes the humanistic and artistic values of respect and inclusion.”
Fresno State President Castro held a press conference shortly after Sessions’ announcement. He was joined by Dr. Paul Parnell, chancellor for the State Center Community College District; community college Presidents Carole Goldsmith (Fresno City College), Lori A. Bennett (Clovis Community College), and Dr. Sandra Caldwell (Reedley College); and Dr. Kathryn Catania, deputy superintendent of education services for the Fresno County Office of Education.
“Fresno State currently serves 25,000 talented students, including an estimated 1,200 DACA students. … As President of Fresno State, I stand with each and every one of our students — including our DACA students — and will do all I can to help them succeed,” President Castro said in a videotaped statement. “I join Chancellor White and the other 22 CSU Presidents in expressing disappointment about the DACA program coming to an end in six months. It is now up to Congress to pass a bill as soon as possible that enables our talented DREAMERS at Fresno State and across the nation to become part of the next generation of leaders in the U.S. and the world.”
Here is an excerpt from Chancellor White’s statement:
“The university’s enrollment and tuition policies are not based on DACA status so enrollment, tuition and financial aid for students is not impacted by the ending of the program. Additionally, state funding under the California Dream Act is not based on DACA status and will not change.”
Dean Jiménez-Sandoval urged anyone with questions or concerns to contact the Dream Success Center at Fresno State, (559) 278-1554.