Schools Commit to Student Privacy on Immigration S...

Schools Commit to Student Privacy on Immigration Status

Schools like University of Michigan and (my alma mater) Kalamazoo College have responded to the recent, heinous executive actions by releasing statements that affirm their refusal to release their students’ immigration status. It probably won’t be too long before we learn how committed they really are.

The two statements are commendable. They assure students that diverse, inclusive campuses are vital to the institution’s core values, reiterate support for DACA, and openly refuse to provide student records to government agencies unless required by law. But if the last four words of the preceding sentence leave you a little concerned, you’re not alone. Just because something is legal does not mean that it’s ethical, and if universities really are committed to protecting their students, they may have to choose between being on the right side of history and the right side of the law.

I could be fretting about nothing. I hope I’m fretting about nothing. And I think that the sentiments expressed in the statements are pretty genuine. But if it comes time to make a stand, who will make that decision? What will their priorities be? And, either way, how can they be held accountable?

Those weren’t just rhetorical questions, so if you have any thoughts about the meeting point of college bureaucracy and unjust laws, let us know in the comments.


About Stewart Finnegan

In a perfect world, I'd be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I'm just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I'd like to go back to academia. Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I've used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I'd like to focus my work on what I'm really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it's the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That's why I'm excited to be a part of High Faluter: I'm finding that academia doesn't just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan