Could Northwestern become a sanctuary campus? ASG presents bill intending to kickstart process

    No one wanted to motion to extend yesterday’s ASG meeting past 10 p.m., but someone had to.

    The wide-ranging meeting would end up being three hours and 15 minutes long. Among other business, ASG senators presented a bill that would call for Northwestern to be declared a sanctuary campus in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president. The bill responds to a student petition created in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president.

    The term “sanctuary campus” comes from the concept of sanctuary cities, cities that have pledged not to report or prosecute undocumented immigrants for breaking immigration law. Chicago and Evanston are both sanctuary cities, according to the bill.

    CNN reports that over 80 college campuses are now considering declaring themselves sanctuary campuses in response to Trump. The president-elect has pledged to deport two to three million undocumented immigrants and infamously referred to them as “murderers” and “rapists” during his campaign.

    There are already Immigrations and Customs Enforcement regulations that keep ICE from enforcing certain immigration laws on college campuses, but the bill would call on the University to withhold undocumented students’ immigration statuses from ICE as well. According to the bill’s authors, the bill would also provide more information and aid for undocumented students during the application process, create resources for undocumented students on campus and improve the University’s system for reporting hate crimes against groups like undocumented students.

    “[Undocumented students] do face unique challenges on college campuses, so we would just like for Northwestern to have a support network for them,” For Members Only Senator Sky Patterson, one of the bill’s authors, said.

    Concerns raised during the Q-and-A portion of the bill’s introduction included possible backlash against sanctuary campuses from a Trump administration by withholding federal grants for both the University and its students. The bill’s authors responded by noting that NU is a private University and that they would discuss federal grants with administration.

    Members of ASG will meet with University administration, including associate dean for student affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin, to discuss the bill. ASG will vote on the bill at its next meeting.

    Presentation on Sheridan Road construction

    Lara Biggs, Evanston’s bureau chief of capital planning, presented Evanston’s plans for construction on Chicago Avenue from Grove Street to Sheridan Road, and on Sheridan Road to Wilmette. The construction would include creating dedicated bike lanes, resurfacing the road and adding new traffic signals. The bike lanes on campus would be separated from the road by a median and would include separate bike crosswalks, aimed at improving safety for bicyclists.

    The University will fund the construction, which will take place in two parts. Construction on Chicago Avenue will take place from April to mid-June, and construction on the University’s portion of Sheridan Road will take place from mid-June to mid-September, when school is not in session.

    Rules committee elections

    ASG also elected District Four Senator Gabrielle Bienasz, District Seven Senator David Guirgis and IFC Senator Charlie Valdes to the rules committee. The committee reads bills before they are brought to the floor at meetings to ensure they follow parliamentary procedure and oversees disciplinary measures for senators.

    Six senators ran for the positions. They each gave short introduction speeches and participated in a 15-minute Q-and-A session, followed by closed-door endorsements and ranked voting by senators.

    A-status funding allocation

    Lastly, ASG allocated leftover funds from spring funding to A-status student organizations. The Muslim Cultural Students Association received $1,400 for its spring speaker by a close roll-call vote of 15-14, and Rainbow Alliance received $77 for an insurance cost by a voice vote.

    McSA originally motioned to receive $3,075, then $1,800, with the latter motion failing by a roll-call vote of 16-15. Additionally, Kaibigan made three failed motions to receive additional funds for food at its annual Pinoy Show and Alianza made two failed motions to receive additional funds for speaker events. All failed by voice vote.


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