Student Senate passed bills dealing with denouncing an executive order and becoming a sanctuary campus at its meeting Wednesday night.
Following a presentation from Better Bystanders, a group aiming to educate students on how to diffuse potentially dangerous situations, Senate turned to addressing concerns about how international students might be affected by President Trump’s recent executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” by passing a bill that would denounce it.
International Affairs Commissioner Nino Abolola talked about how being an international student already presents challenges, and the executive order might put these students at further financial risk: if they go home to visit family and are not permitted to return to the U.S., they could lose the opportunity to finish their education.
Senate also passed a bill in support of making Ohio University a sanctuary campus. Although the bill ultimately passed, Graduate Student President Ian Armstrong and a few other Senate members expressed concern that becoming a sanctuary could put the university at risk of losing federal funding.
During the discussion of the sanctuary campus bill, Senator Ellenore Holbrook raised concerns over students being arrested in Baker Center during a protest that occurred at the same time as the meeting. President Hannah Clouser chose to continue the meeting.
“Pausing a meeting and stopping what was happening – there would have been nothing productive that (could) happen,” Vice President Courteney Muhl later said. “In lieu of being there, what you did do was pass the resolution that now will tell this university to designate itself a sanctuary, and that is really reinforcing what those students were standing up for.”
Student Senate meets Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. in Walter Hall 235.