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Board of Education Statement on Undocumented Students

Post Date:03/03/2017 11:59 AM
The following statement was made by the BMCC Board of Education during its March 1, 2017, regular board meeting, declaring BMCC a safe place for ALL students and employees.

 

The Blue Mountain Community College Board of Education is committed to putting Students First and to fulfilling and supporting the College’s mission to provide “responsive and high quality innovative educational programs and services that promote personal and professional growth to strengthen our communities.” This means the College supports the free and open exchange of ideas – in and outside of the classroom – to support a diverse educational environment for all, and to recognize the value and beauty in our differences.

In support of BMCC’s mission, the Board and College value:

·         Integrity that promotes trust, honesty, ethical behavior, and professionalism.

·         Communication that is open, honest, and encourages a cooperative exchange of thoughts and ideas.

·         Compassionate relationships based on empathy, kindness and reliability.

·         Access to all in an equitable manner.

·         Respect of individuals and their uniqueness and diversity.

·         Excellence in an educational environment that engages, challenges, advances intellectual curiosity, and fosters lifelong learning.

BMCC prides itself on its acceptance of ALL who want to achieve a higher education, learn a new skill or enrich their lives. Tolerance and acceptance of all students and employees are paramount to achieving our mission and values, and we must live by these values as a College community. BMCC’s nondiscrimination policy states “there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment.” All college employees have a duty and responsibility to report all instances of harassment and/or discrimination. BMCC is committed to providing a safe place for students and employees to gather and to learn.

The Board acknowledges that for some of our students, employees, and community members, the fear of federal enforcement is very real and very frightening. Please know that BMCC is considered a “sensitive location” under federal law. This means that federal agents, including those from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), are prohibited from taking enforcement action in one of these designated locations without a warrant or subpoena. BMCC will not assist with any federal action without one of these required documents, and those officers should be directed to the President’s Office for verification.

We encourage BMCC’s employees to be mindful of these fears. Students should frequently be reminded that BMCC is a place of acceptance, that we comply with privacy laws (FERPA) and we do not release student information other than what is permitted or necessary under law. We ask employees to remind students to utilize the many supports and resources we have available to them, and to encourage discourse that promotes an openness to alternative points of view and civility. It is our hope that our employees and students feel safe when coming to any of our BMCC locations.

Though we do not know what will come in the future in regards to immigration law, we do know that at BMCC, every student has a right to learn in a safe environment without the distraction of fear for personal safety and well-being. The Board of Education wants to assure you that BMCC will continue its duty to protect and support our College community, including undocumented students and anyone else who wants to achieve their educational dreams in a place that truly puts Students First.