St. Ben’s and St. John’s Presidents Decline Petition to Make Campuses Sanctuaries
COLLEGEVILLE/ST. JOSEPH -- An update to a story we first told you about earlier this week. The College of St. Benedict and St. John's University will not become sanctuary campuses due to the risk of losing state and federal funding.
Recently a petition created by St. John's Alumnus Edwin Torres to make the campus a sanctuary, to protect undocumented students, was brought to both institutions presidents.
College of St. Benedict President, Mary Dana Hinton and St. John's University President, Michael Hemesath released a statement Thursday saying they are in full support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students and will continue to support undocumented students to the fullest extent of the law. However, both presidents are not in support of making either campus a sanctuary due to the risk of losing state or federal funding.
"We currently protect the rights of our undocumented students to the fullest extent possible under DACA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and we will continue to do so. Yet as higher education institutions we have no legal ability to set ourselves apart from the laws of our state and federal government. Furthermore, to do so could very well put at risk state and federal financial aid support that are essential for the vast majority of our students to pursue their educations at the College of Saint Benedict’s and Saint John’s University."
Both presidents say they firmly believe in supporting DACA but to decline to become a sanctuary campus is in the best interest of all of their students and future of both institutions.
Over 1,500 people signed the petition.