Home Campus Student Senate reaffirms support for immigrant and international students

Student Senate reaffirms support for immigrant and international students

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Student Senate passed a bill asking Ohio University to address the needs of international, immigrant and undocumented students on Wednesday. The bill is identical to one passed in February. It is being used to re-apply pressure to OU administrators on the topic of protecting immigration status.

“We’re not asking the university to break any laws but to protect their students to the best ability that it has,” said Elliot Long, representative for Interdisciplinary Arts in Graduate Student Senate.

Another sponsor of the bill, Fatma Jabbari, who is the international affairs commissioner for GSS, said the bill  is still relevant because it addresses an issue that may become important in the future. She said a plan of action should be decided upon before there is an “emergency.”

A second bill, regarding preserving green space in the Ridges, was debated in regards to whether the environmental concerns of eliminating green space would be worth the created housing for graduate students. The bill, which ultimately failed, was designed to oppose the current plans for the Ridges, which would involve cutting into a small section of land that is used for research, as well as aesthetic green spaces.

Graduate College Senator Mitchell Smith and International Affairs Vice-Commissioner Amal Afyouni both advocated for turning the space into graduate student housing, but Environmental Affairs Commissioner Sarah Pinter was opposed.

“We have to respect the history of this town,” she said. “This is a critical habitat for wildlife. This is going to be detrimental to the forest that remains.”

The Senate body also voted to cut down on the Bobcat Readership Program but continue to fund hard copies of The New York Times for students, with a possibility of online subscriptions as well.

Several budget items passed, including funding for the next Senate general body meeting (which will be a transitional celebration event), funding for finals fest, queer prom and gifts for graduating members of Student Senate.
A resolution to appoint members to a senator emeritus committee passed, as did a bill that increased transparency and accountability for standing committees. The body also passed a resolution to establish a commission on regional campus affairs.

Student Senate meets weekly on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. in Walter 235.

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  1. lance johnson

    April 14, 2017 at 10:23 AM

    Sadly, Trump’s contentious issue is yet one more thing that makes being an international student difficult, on top of our already complex culture and language. Assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking on their life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.
    An award-winning worldwide book/ebook that reaches out to help anyone coming to the US is “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It is used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors. It also identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they’ve contributed to our society, including students.
    A chapter on education explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with a confusing new culture, friendship process and daunting classroom differences. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who have the loudest voice!


  2. […] Both Student Senate and Ohio U administration have been working with representatives of social justice groups since then to take steps forward. […]


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