On behalf of all the Student Affairs offices on campus, I want to acknowledge that this has been a very painful period for many members of our community. We deeply feel the impact of this on the student community on campus. I want to let you know that all Student Affairs staff and offices are here to provide support, to listen to you and your concerns, or just be a place to come to if you would like to do so.
Whether we are directly or indirectly affected by the actions the College has taken in order to comply with its legal responsibilities, many students, staff, and faculty have experienced great distress. The recent events on campus have brought to the fore the difficult immigration realities that hang over millions of individuals and families in the U.S. today, even as they also highlight that many of us here hold competing opinions about our country’s immigration laws and practices. Members of our community also have widely divergent points of view concerning the situation here on campus, and the impetus and implementation of the College’s actions. These divisions are now creating new rifts within our community, and challenging us as a community to maintain our capacity for respectful conversations.
On behalf of the student deans, I would like to add that the role of Student Affairs deans extends to being present any time there are demonstrations on campus in order to support students – both those who are protesting and those who are not – and to support student understanding of and compliance with College policies concerning such events. We are there to ensure that students are able to express their rights to demonstrate, and we also want to support those individuals who choose to express a different opinion or who choose not to demonstrate at all. We understand there may be a boycott of the Pomona College dining halls tomorrow, November 30. Students have a right to demonstrate and call for a boycott, and other students have a right to enter and eat in the dining halls. Part of our role as Student Affairs deans will be to help ensure unimpeded access to the dining halls, as well as respecting the protestors, as per the College’s demonstration policy in the Student Handbook.
We recognize that students hold many different views concerning these events, and we want to encourage you to be mindful of your peers as well, and understanding of each other’s rights to varying opinions. Whether in the residence halls, dining halls, Smith Campus Center, or elsewhere, we encourage you to remember this diversity of opinion and be respectful of these differences and of each other. I encourage anyone who has concerns about this to contact me or another Student Affairs dean.
If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.