With the upcoming change in presidential administrations, there is potential for change that may affect our university community, including undocumented students. While we may be in uncertain times, one thing remains clear — our land-grant mission to the state of Kansas and our country. By staying true to our mission, we can remain on course as the political future unfolds.
There has been much discussion in higher education circles about the status of undocumented students, with or without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status. DACA is an immigration policy initiated by the Obama Administration in 2012. Under the policy, certain undocumented immigrants to the United States who entered the country as minors can receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for employment.
Understandably, any undocumented K-State students may be worried about possible changes to DACA and other immigration policies. This is a time for our university family to pull together and support those who are working to build a better future for themselves. We encourage students with questions or concerns to take advantage of the many services offered through the university. I have asked Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, to guide our efforts in this area. There are numerous university resources, such as academic advising, student financial assistance, counseling and health services. Students studying or traveling abroad should contact the Study Abroad Office with specific concerns or questions.
University policies regarding disclosure of student records remain the same under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act known as FERPA. We do not release student records without written consent from the student or a lawfully issued subpoena, warrant or judicial order. It remains our policy to require the necessary legal documents before disclosing student records or information derived from student records.
There are many potential outcomes for our students; we will be prepared to assist them, as allowed by the law, as decisions are made at the national level. Please join me in supporting these important members of the K-State family as the situation evolves.
Richard B. Myers