We are excited to welcome you back to campus for the new academic year. The energy on campus has been building, and we are excited for classes to begin officially tomorrow.
In addition to welcoming you back, I am writing to you to acknowledge today's announcement to rescind the federal policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Since 2012, this policy has provided protections from deportation for more than 800,000 young people who entered the United States as children--many of whom know only the United States as a home.
This morning, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced the action and St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan affirmed our university's commitment to advocate on behalf of our dreamers, "Just as our founder, Archbishop John Ireland envisioned, we are a community that welcomes all immigrants," our president stated. She called on all within our community to live our convictions and embrace our mission to advance the common good.
The university will continue to examine events surrounding the policy change as they unfold. For those directly affected by this decision, I want you to know beyond question: you are welcome at St. Thomas. For those indirectly affected, we are called to be in solidarity with those who are.
We have resources available to you on our website. Also, many staff and faculty on our campus are available to guide you to additional resources and to serve as a sounding board as we move through these trying times. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email or call our office (651-962-6120).
Yesterday, during our undergraduate welcome assembly and interfaith blessing, we reaffirmed our commitment to our university convictions. During this event, one speaker quoted Maya Angelou, "We are more alike, my friends, than we are different." Let us remember this as we embark on the journey of a new academic year.
Karen Lange, Vice President for Student Affairs