Moving Forward Together in Solidarity and Care for One Another

November 21, 2016

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

During this time of tension and anxiety surrounding the national discourse, I write to share and reaffirm that Seattle University remains steadfast in its commitment to support every student in our university community—regardless of your background, religion, beliefs, identity or immigration status.

This is a moment when each of us is called to show special care and compassion for the wellbeing of our students—particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized. We very much welcome the strong statement from Student Government of Seattle University that was released this weekend. Some of the most recent conversations university officials have been engaged in relate to concerns about potential immigration changes and the impact on our undocumented students and their families.

While talk of changes is still speculation at this point, let me be clear to our undocumented students that we are here to support you and we will work together with others to do so now and in the future. I, along with many other university presidents, have signed onto a statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and undocumented immigrant students. The statement was created by Pomona College and states DACA is a moral imperative and national necessity that should be upheld, continued and expanded.

If you are an undocumented student, you should also be aware of the information and resources that can be found under the Office of Multicultural Affairs page on our website. The information on the page will be updated as needed in the coming weeks and months.

There has also been an alarming increase in reports of incidents of bias and hate across our nation. We are not immune to them and are developing additional response and prevention initiatives. We will update you as we move forward, but know that we have zero tolerance for bias incidents on campus and we will take appropriate disciplinary action as well as report any incidents to the appropriate authorities.

As a Jesuit Catholic university, we are deeply committed to the dignity and equality of every individual, to the common good and to developing leaders for a just and humane world. We also recognize how central a safe, inclusive and welcoming community is to educational excellence and the success of students. And we are deeply committed to fostering respectful and constructive dialogue, which is essential to a thriving institution of higher learning and the welfare of all students, faculty and staff.

There have been a number of conversations and forums taking place across campus the past couple of weeks, with more to come. Please know I am grateful to the many faculty, staff and student leaders who have already been doing so much to support our students and move forward together in solidarity, respect and compassion.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.