Note on the Sanctuary Campus petition
Dear TWU community:
Yesterday, I received a petition to designate Texas Woman’s University as a “sanctuary campus.” I have carefully read the words of the petition, and I hear the fears and concerns behind the words and between the lines. I am myself a native of Belgium, so I can empathize better than most with many foreigners' feelings of uncertainty. Even so, I recognize there are privileges I have that many of the petitioners do not. And so, I am listening—will continue to listen—but at this moment would like to offer some words of assurance to you, the students, faculty, and staff.
The first assurance is that we already offer many of the key services and protections requested in the petition:
- An environment of nondiscrimination;
- Free legal services for students;
- Mental health and counseling services;
- Student, faculty and staff training on cultural issues via the Office of Diversity,
- Inclusion and Outreach;
- Financial Assistance — including money for non-residents;
- Housing — including a no discrimination policy and providing of housing when the university is closed for breaks.
A second assurance is that we do not routinely gather information about the citizenship or immigration status of our students. We have no plans to change this practice.
While we recognize that many of our students and others are concerned about the future of their education here, as well as other issues that may affect them and their families, I also want to assure everyone that we remain committed to the principles on which Texas Woman’s was founded. As the nation’s largest university primarily for women, we are “an inclusive environment that embraces diversity.” It is part of our mission.
I feel that many who signed the petition are unaware of what we already offer at Texas Woman’s and of some of our practices. As we move forward with our strategic plan, we will do even more, together. Sustainable change does not happen overnight, and it takes all of us engaging together in the process of making our great university even stronger. We are the #campuswithaheart.
With the kindest of regards,
Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President