Students, Administration Agree to ‘Stockton Safe’

For Immediate Release

Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Student leaders, Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman, Executive Vice President Susan Davenport and members of the Cabinet today agreed that the university is “Stockton Safe,” providing a safe zone for all students, faculty, and staff regardless of immigration status.

“The university, to the fullest extent permitted by law, protects the identity and information of all members of the community,” said President Harvey Kesselman.

“We had a very productive meeting and came to a consensus about what will be most beneficial for the students.  I thank Dr. Kesselman for allowing us to be part of this process and I am confident for a brighter future for Stockton University,” said Ike Ejikeme, student Board of Trustee alternate.

“Historically, colleges and universities have been presented with the opportunity to stand for at-risk students during times such as the Fugitive Slave Act or Japanese internment. Many have failed. Today, as a result of the students’ voice, Stockton took a step in the right direction to protect our own,” said Kaltoum Alibrahimi, an Anthropology major.

“This movement is a sway against strong currents in uncertain waters. This is a sway in the right direction. Let Stockton Safe set the standard to embody the people, the voice and the heart of this institution to do what is just in times of adversity,” said Mahalia Bazile, president of Unified Black Students Society. 

“Today reflected the power and persistence of students to make sure that not only are their concerns being heard, but that they successfully mobilized to achieve significant commitments for the protection of their peers regardless of their life experiences or immigration status,” said Maryam Sarhan, president of Stockton Student Senate.  “At its very core, this has, and always should be, a matter of safety, and the unequivocal support for the inalienable rights to dignity, respect and access to a quality education for all.”            

“I have always been a proud member of the Stockton community, but I am especially proud today after participating in the first steps to defending the rights of all students regardless of status,” said Theresa McMackin, vice president of Stockton STAND.

“Stockton has always been a community of inclusion and solidarity, and our effort to introduce the Stockton Safe initiative only solidifies that commitment to our values.”

The group met in response to a Student Senate resolution regarding protections for undocumented students.

After extensive discussions, the group agreed to align Stockton with the actions of the New Jersey Legislature, which this week passed resolutions affirming that college campuses should “continue to serve as a safe zone and resource center for students and their families threatened by immigration enforcement or discrimination.”

The group agreed to a series of protections, many of which are already in place for those who are undocumented, along with measures to educate the community about immigration rights.

The measures outlined today will be further discussed at upcoming meetings of the Faculty Assembly on Feb. 21 and the Board of Trustees on Feb. 22. The group committed to having a final agreement on specific protections and procedures by Feb. 24.


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