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Hamline promotes immigration resources page

In a response to campus-wide listening circles, Hamline University creates a resources page for undocumented students.

Arthur Solvang and Blake Butenhoff

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The atmosphere on Hamline’s campus surrounding, among other things, what Dean of Students Alan Sickbert referred to as “supporting diversity of and for faculty and staff” in an email regarding the recent listening circles, has been a topic of discussion since January. One attempt to address student concerns came in the recent creation of an “Undocumented Student Resources” page on the Hamline University website.

Through the past several listening circles, during which students engaged directly with Hamline’s administration in a group setting, many spoke openly about their concerns with the university, its faculty and staff and the attitudes of fellow students. One of those concerns was the lack of resources that Hamline provides for undocumented students. On Friday Apr. 7, Hamline University’s Dean of Students Office implemented this resource page in an attempt to address this issue.

When asked why Hamline was taking such actions, Alan Sickbert had this to say.

“I feel that it is our duty in some sense to provide people with [the] information that we are trying to provide,” Sickbert said. “We’re here to try to help and assist students who need that kind of help.”

Hamline is not the only college that has been facing such issues. Multiple colleges across the Twin Cities have been struggling with the question of what to do with their undocumented student population. Some campuses, like Augsburg, have chosen to try to bring local groups such as NAVIGATE MN and Immigration Law Center of Minnesota to help students who are going through the process of becoming citizens. However, when asked if Hamline has done anything similar yet, Sickbert replied that Hamline has instead focused on a policy of not requesting information of a student’s documentation status.

“I think the challenge that we have is that there is no one on this campus who is really an immigration attorney,” Sickbert said. “There really is no one on this campus who knows all the nuances on what this may or may not mean for folks.”

When asked if Hamline would look into getting an immigration lawyer, Sickbert said no.

“[What we’ve done] is just the first step of information and I think that our next step as faculty and staff would be to engage with students and ask ‘What would be helpful next?’ ‘What is it that we can do programmatically that is necessary or important to do?’”

Those answers will only come about through more listening circles, and the actions of Hamline’s own student body.

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The student news site of Hamline University.
Hamline promotes immigration resources page