September 1, 2017

 

Dear Members of the USF Community,

I know that, like me, many of you are deeply disappointed at the news of an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – which has the potential to cause irreparable harm to families and communities and to force 800,000 of our young people back into the shadows.

That said, actions in Washington have not and will not change our commitment to students of the University of St. Francis. Our doors remain open to you – for you are our brothers and sisters – and the educational opportunities you have pursued here are still available. You are valued members of our community and our university.

Throughout the coming weeks and months, our campus community will come together in dialogue to discuss how we can advocate for and be part of the solution. In the meantime, I want to express my support, and the support of the entire USF family, for our students, and for the achievement of their educational aspirations. We, especially, understand that the uncertainties that surround immigration and visa status become more urgent and cause apprehension for our undocumented students – whether or not they have registered through DACA – and their families.

We want our students, and their families, to understand that we continue to stand behind – and with – them. We will continue to offer our support, our prayers, and our action. Please also know that we will do everything within our power to ensure that our students have the opportunity to achieve their educational goals at the University of St. Francis.

We are challenged once again to truly live our mission to be a “welcoming community of learners,” and to encourage our students to continue to attend class, work their on-campus jobs, and seek help where and when needed. The staff in the Counseling Center, University Ministry, and Admissions are among the many departments that remain ready to support our community in this time of need.

I know I’m not alone in looking forward to the celebration of our students’ future graduation from USF and to seeing how they will contribute to the world through service and leadership. Remember, we are all in this together, as we are reminded of the words of the USF Affirmation, “In my actions, I am St. Francis. In community, WE are St. Francis.

Peace and all good things,

Arvid

 

“If you want to be great, wonderful. But, recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.