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SGA passes resolution denouncing immigration ban

Robert Rigo/Collegian

The Student Government Association has called on the University of Massachusetts to publicly condemn President Trump’s executive order on immigration, in a unanimous vote on Monday, Jan. 30.

The resolution was created directly in opposition of President Trump’s executive order banning the entry of immigrants and refugees from seven primarily Muslim countries.

Following the resolution, on Thursday Chancellor Subbaswamy and Residential Life both published statements promising inclusivity on campus, and protection of all UMass students’ rights.

While the UMass administration would not address what influence the resolution may have had on statements published by Chancellor Subbaswamy and Residential Life, SGA members believe the resolution clarified the majority of students’ feelings on the immigration order.

“I think the statements that are being posted…are definitely an indication that our efforts have reached administration,” stated Ryan Mahan, SGA senator and co-writer of the resolution.

Included in the resolution is a request that the University publicly denounce the immigration order and provide resources to students that may be affected by the executive order.

Due to the pressing relevancy of the resolution, the SGA bypassed student consultation, wrote and voted on the resolution in two days. This is usually a process that can take up to one and a half weeks.

“We couldn’t wait long to publish something, students were feeling unsupported and we had to take action,” said Jeremy Tibbetts, SGA Senator and co-writer of the resolution, “It is really exciting that the SGA can take on these issues and take a stand when we see injustice.”

Numerous Massachusetts state officials have openly criticized the order. Senator Edward Markey described the order as, “antithetical to our time-honored values,” and vowed to challenge “President Trump’s efforts to target and persecute the most vulnerable among us in Massachusetts.”

In response, the SGA vote included addressed thank you letters, which have been sent to Senator Markey and three other state legislatures who have denounced the order, including Governor Charles Baker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Representative Jim McGovern.

“We don’t usually send letters to thank legislatures unless they have done something we either really like, or really don’t like. It’s about how the students at UMass feel, since we are representing them,” explained Mahan.

Rhiannon Snide is a Collegian correspondent and can be reached at rsnide@umass.edu.

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