This petition comes to you from a group of concerned Bereans. We comprise the campus group F.E.E. (Fighting for Equal Education) which was formed in 2012 in response to the discontinued acceptance of undocumented students at Berea College. The college had accepted just five undocumented students, and accordingly treated their experience as a pilot program. Unfortunately, upon graduation of the 5th student, the college recognized the need to evaluate the process and effectively halted admission of undocumented students until further notice.
I believe that accepting undocumented students at Berea College fits with the longstanding tradition of inclusivity and equality of all people, regardless of their past or origins. Though the campus has changed and the students come and go, the traditions and the principles of the school conceived by John G. Fee remain. The foundational ideals were ahead of their time and those original trials have long passed us, but we must not forget to welcome the underprivileged with the same unconditional love and activism of our founders. Berea College began by providing education for those who sought it and should continue to do so now.
On March 20, 2013, two DACA-mented students, after having difficulties with their applications (no DACA-mented checkbox on application), personally submitted them to President Roelofs (Berea College President) so that they may be considered in the application process. On his last reports to the Berea College campus, our former president, Larry Shinn, stated that the college had been analyzing and will continue to analyze this problem. However, considering the fact that the school application has no checkbox for DACA-mented students to explain or answer to the question, “Are you a U.S. citizen”, makes us believe that not much is being done on behalf of this issue.
President Roelof’s answer was that he would pass the applications over to the Dean of admissions for the students to be considered, but only after the new incoming freshman class of 2017 is chosen and there are vacancies or leftover spots.
I support the initiative for Maria and Jose to be considered in the Berea College 2013 application process as domestic students and not as students who deserve the “leftover spots”. Just like the other applicants in this process, Maria and Jose should be treated as potential Berea College students