DACA, ASSET students have support of Board of Regents

Passage of resolution accompanies announcement of new Student Relief Fund

Following up on concerns raised by students and other CU community members at the February Board of Regents meeting, the board on Friday approved a resolution of support for students enrolled in DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) programs.

“These students have made valuable contributions to the University of Colorado, are working to achieve their goals, and will be productive members of society,” the resolution states.

To punctuate the resolution’s 9-0 passage, the board also announced the establishment of the University of Colorado Student Relief Fund, which will benefit DACA students and others at CU Boulder who face financial hardship or legal impediment to accessing federal or state financial aid.

Regent Linda Shoemaker, D-Boulder, said the fund will not be fueled by tuition funds or general funds, but strictly via private philanthropy – including her personal foundation, which is the first donor to the fund.

“I expect there will be a lot of other donors (now),” Shoemaker said. “We have other people in the Boulder community teed up to contribute.”

Shoemaker thanked Republican regents Heidi Ganahl and Sue Sharkey for collaborating with her on resolution language that would be broadly accepted by all board members.

“I have to say, we really do have compassionate conservatives on this board,” Shoemaker said. “We all had various opinions … about the language ‘sanctuary campus.’ … But we managed a compromise on a resolution.”

As the board and university leaders previously have stated, CU won’t label its campuses as sanctuaries, which might indicate a defiance of federal law.

“I think it’s reckless to have the university declare itself a sanctuary, whatever that means,” said Regent John Carson, R-Highlands Ranch. “But I will vote for this resolution and will continue to look at this issue.”

Sharkey said she also opposes the notion of sanctuary campuses, but said she supports CU’s DACA students.

“For any student accepted into this university, it’s a great statement on that individual,” she said. “It takes a lot of hard work and determination to get into college and work toward their hopes and dreams. That’s what our country is all about.”

Donations to the Student Relief Fund may be made through the CU Foundation, which manages the fund.

In other business at the Board of Regents meeting, held April 6-7 at CU Denver:

  • Shoemaker updated the board on the work of the strategic planning committee on a new strategic vision framework for the university. Campus meetings recently were completed and the committee now is assembling material for the board’s review later this spring. A new website details the process and objectives.
  • The board unanimously approved the purchase of 2369 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder. See more in CU Boulder Today.