College message concerning our potentially vulnerable students

The following letter was sent to Green River Community members by Interim President Scott Morgan on Feb. 3, 2017

Green River College Community:

Members of our campus have expressed concern over vulnerable communities within our college. While there are efforts to address all communities within our college, these steps address the needs of undocumented students, Muslim students, LGBTQ students and any other students who feel threatened given their religion, beliefs, sexual orientation/identity, ethnicity or race.

While potential changes in federal immigration policy could have an impact on our undocumented and documented students—including potential changes in laws and policies that protect individuals from discrimination and harassment—Green River College will remain a safe and welcoming community that supports and promotes the First Amendment rights of students, faculty, staff, and guests.

We affirm:

  • support for all students
  • protection to the privacy rights of students as granted by FERPA
  • Green River’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • our mission to “Ensure student success through comprehensive educational programs and support services responsive to our diverse communities.”

We have operated and will continue to operate to uphold these values:

  • Green River will uphold our legal obligation to protect the privacy rights of all students by observing the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We will not release nondirectory student information unless legally compelled to do so, and will continue to offer FERPA workshops to students to increase awareness of their rights under this law.
  • Green River will provide in‐state tuition rates to all students who otherwise satisfy our residency guidelines as dictated by the State of Washington.
  • Green River will work with appropriate community partners to foster access to support services for undocumented immigrant students.
  • Green River will sponsor events, workshops and listening sessions to connect students to the resources and information they need.
  • Green River will provide funding opportunities to departments offering diversity, equity and inclusion training programs for Green River in addition to existing and planned training opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Green River departments, councils and student groups will also offer a variety of learning opportunities.
  • Green River will continue to build the college’s capacity for respectful and challenging dialogue across differences—this includes providing space for dissenting points of view.
  • The contracted public safety officers will not enforce federal immigration laws as they do not have the legal authority to do so. They will remain committed to working to make Green River safe and welcoming for all.
  • Green River will examine the student data we collect to ensure we do not collect more than is necessary to enroll students.
  • The Green River College Foundation will continue to help ensure that students in our region have access to an outstanding education at Green River regardless of their ability to pay. Foundation staff will work with donors interested in providing philanthropic support for the Green River scholarships for first generation, low‐income students who are ineligible to apply for federal financial aid.
  • Green River will work with students, staff, administrators, and faculty to create an environment free of hostilities, aggressions, and bullying regarding immigration status, religion, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation/identity, or national origin.
  • Green River will communicate that all students, staff, administrators, and faculty are full members of the GRC community and protected to the fullest power of the administration.

Scott Morgan
Interim President
Green River College

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