A Message of Support
Michael E. Engh, S.J.
Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Let me begin by thanking you for your many expressions of appreciation for my message to you last week. Since then I have reflected further on the state of our campus community and the unease that is present. Today, fittingly, is the 27th anniversary of the eight Martyrs of the University of Central America, whose deaths inspired our solidarity with those who suffer threat or violence. This long tradition of solidarity – our legacy of accompanying “the other” – provides a framework in which I view how we cope with the fears that have grown since the national elections.
From many conversations with you, I acknowledge that many feel less safe in American society or in this home that we call Santa Clara. National and social media have broadcast many stories of violence or aggression that people of diverse backgrounds have experienced. I believe it essential to repeat and reinforce a message of inclusion and respect for people of all traditions, orientations, gender, and legal status. We are members of a community, a family, and we embrace strong Jesuit values of concern for those who suffer, the quest for a better world, and a respect for each individual as a child of God. These beliefs permeate our programs, our services, and our actions.
For those who feel vulnerable at this time, I want to highlight sources of support:
- We will do everything we can to protect our undocumented students.
- For many years, Santa Clara has welcomed undocumented students to our campus, and we will continue this practice. For example, the Jesuit Community for many years has worked with many of you to educate and support undocumented students. We will continue to devote resources to these valued members of our campus.
- Santa Clara devotes significant resources to support and protect all members of our campus community. Examples include: Counseling and Psychological Services (https://www.scu.edu/cowell/caps/), Campus Ministry (https://www.scu.edu/cm/), the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (https://www.scu.edu/diversity/), the Office for Multicultural Learning (https://www.scu.edu/oml/), and the Drahmann Center (https://www.scu.edu/drahmann/).
- Our Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center (http://law.scu.edu/kgaclc/) provides legal services and counsel on issues of immigration status.
- Many students are experiencing emotional turmoil because of fears of their possible deportation or that of relatives or friends. I encourage faculty to be aware of and sensitive to students who report distress and may need assistance.
Through these and other means, our university will continue to live out its mission through visible acts of solidarity. Thank you for your support as we join with the members of our Santa Clara family who find themselves most at risk.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.