FAQs—Policies and Institutional Commitments to Undocumented Members of the LVC Community

Q. Can LVC regulate the presence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on campus?

A: Public access to outdoor spaces and many campus buildings on campus is not restricted, so the College cannot promise to prohibit ICE officials or other federal agencies from coming on campus or from driving vehicles on campus. “Locking down” the campus to restrict public access would undermine the College’s commitment to community engagement.

If federal agencies want to recruit on campus, they must request permission. If granted, they must register with campus officials and engage solely in recruitment activities.

Q: Can LVC refuse to release information regarding student immigration or refugee status?

A: The College will not release confidential student information, including information about immigration status, unless we have written consent from the student, or a subpoena or warrant. If authorities request student records, faculty and staff are advised to request photo identification and confirm any agent's identity, then contact the President’s Office for guidance before releasing any student information. You may read our privacy policy here.

Note that federal law requires us to report information to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on students who are seeking or currently hold student visas so that they may remain in the country legally and pursue their LVC education.

Q: Must LVC collaborate with immigration officials?

A: Unless we are legally compelled to do so, LVC will not participate in any effort to locate, detain, or deport members of the campus community because of their undocumented status.

Q: What are the current admission and financial aid policies regarding undocumented students?

Applicants for undergraduate admission are not required to report their immigration status, and admission decisions do not take their status into account.

Admission decisions are need-blind; any admitted student has the opportunity to apply and qualify for institutional aid. We charge the same tuition rate for all undergraduate students. Note that undocumented students are prohibited by law from receiving state and federal aid.

Q: Will LVC revise its current definition of discrimination and harassment to include those who are immigrants, refugees, domestic international students, and all other undocumented immigrants?

A: Such a change would require further investigation and careful planning to ensure that the policy would be worded so that LVC remains in compliance with the law. The College has not decided whether to pursue this option at this time.

Q: Will LVC declare itself a sanctuary campus?

A: No. Because there is no universal or legal definition of “sanctuary campus,” LVC will not declare itself as such. However, the College does remain committed to the wellbeing of all members of the campus community and offers protections to the full extent the law allows.

Q: What should I do if a student needs support?

A: If you know of a student seeking support, please put them in touch with Student Affairs at 717-867-6233, the Counseling Center at 717-867-6232, and the Center for Global Education at 717.867.6089.

For further information, see immigrationlawhelp.org.


 

February 8, 2017

Dear Campus Community,

I know from speaking with students and faculty members that many of you are concerned about the future of undocumented immigrants in the United States, and some have requested that Lebanon Valley College become a sanctuary campus.

I want to assure you that LVC remains committed to protecting the safety, security, and privacy of all members of our campus community to the full extent allowed by law. Existing policies demonstrate this commitment.

I have also recently endorsed proposed legislation called the Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow Our Economy (BRIDGE Act), introduced by Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham. This bi-partisan legislation offers appropriate protection to hundreds of thousands of young people who strengthen our nation by pursuing educational and employment opportunities currently allowed by the DACA program. In December, I signed on to the Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students, a message initiated by Pomona College that now has more than 600 signatures from college and university presidents. I encourage you, too, to read this powerful statement on immigration from the United Methodist Council of Bishops.

Regarding the separate matter of becoming a sanctuary campus, I have spoken with the chair of LVC’s Board of Trustees and many other trustees. The Board supports the signing of the letters for the BRIDGE Act and DACA, but with me does not believe we should declare LVC a sanctuary campus. We stand firmly with all members of our community, but there is no universal definition or legal meaning or effect of the term “sanctuary campus.” Nevertheless, our policies are entirely consistent with our principles, and I urge you to take the time to study them.

If you feel strongly about this or any issue, take action: Write to those in office, read, do research, debate, and collaborate with others to bring about the change you seek. In these challenging times, I urge you also to engage with those whose opinions and ideas differ from yours, and commit to the free exchange of ideas and understanding on our campus.

Warmly,

Dr. Thayne