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Update on DACA from the CHS Diversity and Equity Committee

The CHS Diversity and Equity Committee has been discussing and developing strategies to address growing concerns about the impact of the current social and political climate on vulnerable student groups. Of particular concern are undocumented students, Middle Eastern and Muslim students, members of the LGBTQ community, and African-American students. The Committee’s initial focus has been to learn more about DACA and to explore how its expiration or revocation might affect the university community, as well as potential mitigating measures.

In December 2016, the Committee wrote a letter and list of recommended actions to President Rao, who has since joined more than six hundred university and college presidents in signing the Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students. President Rao reaffirmed his commitment to diversity and inclusion, and VCU’s continuing support for DACA students, in his last State of the University Address. More recently, members of the Committee met with Dr. Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves, Associate Vice-President for Inclusive Excellence, to discuss its concerns. The Diversity and Equity Committee is aware that the College’s Faculty Council shares these concerns and has also reached out to President Rao and to the Division of Inclusive Excellence. The Committee continues to monitor political and social developments that can affect our students, faculty, and staff, and it continues to reach out to university administrators and faculty about these matters.

The College of Humanities and Sciences’ Diversity and Equity Committee is composed of representatives from various departments and the dean’s office. The Committee meets the third Wednesday of each month from one to 2:30 p.m.; meetings are open and visitors are welcome. Its next meeting is on February 15, 2017 at Founders Hall, Room 328. The Committee will hold its remaining spring meetings in the First Floor Conference Room at Founders Hall.

To read the CHS Diversity & Equity letter to Dr. Rao, please click here. To learn more about DACA through FAQs, please click here, and here. For a list of the members of the Committee, kindly click here.