SGA backs new sanctuary campus petition

by Shafaq Patel / Beacon Correspondent • January 26, 2017

Student Government Association voted to unanimously support a new petition requesting Emerson to publicly declare itself a sanctuary campus to assist undocumented students. The new petition asks Emerson to broadcast the college as a safe place for these students.

Laura Londoño, a student in Emerson Understanding National Immigration Through Education, presented the petition for Emerson to openly announce that it is a sanctuary campus.

While Emerson is a sanctuary campus and does allow undocumented students to apply, as the Beacon reported last fall, Londoño said the petition is asking the college to make it public so undocumented students across the country are aware of the policy.

“How is a student in the middle of Wyoming supposed to know that Emerson College is an option for them?” Londoño said. “Emerson just hasn’t really announced it. We are asking President [M. Lee] Pelton to really step up and make the announcement.”

SGA will soon release a statement to the school and President Pelton on their stance that the student body representatives agree and support the petition.

SGA also granted Emerson’s Black Organization with Natural Interests $18,506.99 for its annual Black History Month events for February.

Chala Tshitundu, president of EBONI and junior writing, literature, and publishing major, said this money will allow the organization to host Black Rainbow Ball, a charity event to benefit The Theater Offensive’s True Colors youth theater program.

EBONI will also have another event where they invite Mitzi Miller, former editor-in-chief of EBONY and Jet magazines, to talk about remaining present in social and political field.

“It is very important for us to be able to put on these events because throughout the day to day, there isn’t a lot of cultural exchange or education on Emerson’s campus,” Tshitundu said. “So with Black History Month, not only do we have the opportunity to discuss issues that affect African Americans in the country specifically at Emerson, but also to educate others as to why the issues are so important.”