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Message to Students: We Remain Committed to You

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2019-04-12T09:05:33+00:00 February 3, 2017|News|
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Message to Students: We Remain Committed to You

  • Photo of Highline College campus taken from the Library

Potential changes in federal policies have created uncertainty for many students who come from the immigrant and refugee communities around Highline College.

Earlier this week, Dr. Jeff Wagnitz, Highline College’s Acting President, sent the following letter to students, reaffirming the college’s support of all students, their families and communities.

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The college has developed a resource bank for immigrants and refugees. It includes up-to-date information, resources, referrals and upcoming events.

January 31, 2017

Dear Highline College students,

Understandably, in light of recent national events, some of you may be concerned about the potential impact of changes in federal immigration policy, including repeal of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) executive orders. For many, last weekend’s news served to heighten those concerns.

At this uncertain time, we want to affirm our support for all our students, their families, and communities. South King County is home to a wide variety of languages, ethnicities, nationalities-of-origin, and faith traditions. We believe that diversity is our region’s greatest asset. Please consider this email as a recommitment to Highline’s values of inclusion and equity across our communities.

In addition to reaffirming our values, we also want to provide you with information.

The enforcement of immigration policy is the responsibility of the federal government, not campus officials. For our students, that means:

— Highline’s Public Safety officers will never ask students about their immigration status or participate in any immigration enforcement actions.
— We will continue to protect student educational records as provided under federal privacy laws.
— While we cannot bar federal immigration officials from our campus, our staff will continue to require a subpoena, court order, or other clear legal authority before releasing any student-specific data.
— We will continue to honor Washington state programs — such as WAFSA and HB 1079 — that govern tuition, admissions, and financial aid, as prescribed by the Legislature.

Highline College remains committed to offering all students a safe and welcoming environment. We encourage you to report any harassment, bullying, or threats based on immigration status, religion, or national origin. This kind of behavior is not tolerated on Highline’s campus or in our classes and is a potential violation of the Student Conduct Code or anti-harassment policy.

In solidarity, Highline College is proud to join a national movement of colleges and universities that stand opposed to changes in immigration policy that could threaten members of our student body. We also continue to engage with local organizations that provide immigration-related services in our community.

While we continue to monitor local, state, and national policy, we will do our best to answer questions that you may have about how changes in immigration policy may affect you or your family’s educational plans. To that end, we are working to develop a resource bank with up-to-date information, resources, and referrals on these matters. It can be found at libguides.highline.edu/immigrationresource.

Jeff Wagnitz
Acting President

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Founded in 1961 as King County’s first community college, Highline takes pride in preparing students to live and work in a multicultural world and global economy.

People representing more than 120 cultures attend classes at the college. With over 70 percent students of color, Highline ranks as the most diverse higher education institution in Washington state. The college’s globally focused environment for higher education provides a natural fit for its diverse community and an important reflection of its core values.

For recent related messages on Highline’s support of all students and communities, see “Our Community: A Message from President Bermingham” and “Highline College President Joins Effort for Continuation of DACA.”