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‘Beyond our purview’

University leaders support, but can't regulate, in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 01:02

But Matt Hastings, a lead organizer with SDS, said the Board not addressing the issue is an inadequate response. 

Hastings is involved with planning SDS’s call to action to the Board and an event in support of the cause, featuring music and spoken word at 7 tonight in the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater. 

“It’s literally their job to make decisions like this,” Hastings said. “It’s a way to deflect and stall so they don’t have to take a bold step.” 

Other Florida universities have remained largely silent on the issue, with the exception of Florida International University, whose Board of Trustees voted to implement a tuition-waiver system that grants partial waivers to students who are granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status by the federal government. The University of Florida faculty senate also passed a similar declaration of support.

Aranda said for now the declaration would send a message to undocumented students, such as Sousa-Rodriguez, who graduate in December, that they are welcomed at USF. 

“It’s value-added to have students from diverse backgrounds at USF,” she said. “If we send the message that the doors are open a little wider for you, that would help.” 

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