The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

Living the D.R.E.A.M.

The University should endorse the DREAM Act, even if it it means taking a stand on a political issue

Last week, the University announced its official position regarding undocumented students. As Vice President for Campus Life Kimberly Goff-Crews explained in a meeting with the University of Chicago Coalition for Immigration Reform, the current University policy, which had previously not been publicized, was that the University both accepts undocumented students and provides them with need-based financial aid.

This policy is proper and pursuant to the University’s best interests, as it helps to attract and support the brightest minds: It is always the right decision to educate the best possible students, regardless of their legal status.

Although the Administration was willing to announce this policy, it nevertheless declined to endorse the DREAM Act, a proposed law that would provide financial assistance and permanent residency to undocumented students who meet certain criteria. The act has been publicly lauded by such peer institutions as Harvard and Yale, but has found no official support from the U of C.

The Administration’s decision not to comment on the bill stems from the Kalven Report, which holds that universities should always attempt to remain politically neutral.

However, if the University does not consider a student’s undocumented status when making admission decisions and awarding financial aid, then the University has already made a public, political statement­—specifically, that a student’s academic potential outweighs his or her legal status.

And yet the University remained silent on the DREAM Act, precisely because the Administration wants to avoid public, political statements.

Yes, the Kalven Report dictates a certain level of political neutrality, but it also recommends that institutions take stances on issues relevant to their core academic goals. The administration frequently articulates political positions on Hyde Park development and academic freedom, and doing so is deemed appropriate because both issues are central to the mission of the University. Is it not equally important for the University to endorse legislation that legally and monetarily supports students it has already accepted and committed to educating?

The long and short of it is that the University should openly endorse the DREAM Act. The logic behind the decision to accept and support undocumented students still holds when deciding whether to endorse the DREAM Act; the bill’s eventual passage would further the University’s mission to find, attract, and educate the best possible students. It would be both logically consistent and beneficial for the U of C to endorse the DREAM Act and allow talented students from all backgrounds a chance at a world-class education.

The Maroon Editorial Board consits of the Editor-in-Chief, Viewpoints Editors, and an Editorial Board member.

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Solana Adedokun

Elena Eisenstadt

Cherie Fernandes

Michael McClure

Eva McCord

Naina Purushothaman

Kayla Rubenstein

Anu Vashist

 

The Editorial Board publishes editorials that represent The Maroon's institutional voice. Seven to 10 voting-eligible members of The Maroon compose the Board. The editor-in-chief runs the editorial board, and the managing editor is required to be a member. Each member of the Board has equal voting power. No more than three members of the Editorial Board may dissent from a published editorial. If more than three members dissent, the editorial may not be published. Dissenters are entitled but not required to explain the reason(s) for their dissent at the end of the editorial. 

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