The board of trustees meeting on October 24, originally scheduled to be at Chabot, was relocated to the District office in Dublin at 6:30 p.m. The announcement of the relocation by Chancellor Jackson citing “safety concerns” was considered by students, faculty, and staff at Chabot to be a blatant act of oppression in an attempt to silence the campus’ demands to become a sanctuary and need for additional instructional faculty.
Making the democratic process difficult is the question as to whether or not Chancellor Jackson can do her duties effectively. “Perceptions matter, as the board of trustees… I just want to remind you of what everybody is thinking, because of the perception and the effect it has on people, currently the perception… is that we don’t matter to you,” says Patrick Mwamba, a Chabot student, addressing the board during the meeting.
Laura Alarcon, counselor and instructor at Chabot said, “5 months … after the May 16 meeting, the discussion of Chabot college as a sanctuary campus has been absent… from the board of trustees meeting agendas.”
Alarcon goes on to say, “Tonight’s agenda item titled, legislative update, California Values Act, should not be a surrogate for the long overdue discussion of the recommendations outlined in the Chabot sanctuary resolution.” Board President Dr. Gin did refer to the California Values Act relating it to DACA and sanctuary, confusing many, which discouraged others to come up and speak during the designated public comments section.
“To dream is not a crime… I feel like we are being policed, we are being treated like criminals by having the presence of the police… If anything, the undocumented students are the ones that need protection,” said Joan Cortez, a Chabot College student.
Jaquelyn Matta another Chabot student says, “as a part of Chabot College and the undocumented community, I believe becoming a sanctuary district is very important. It will provide a safer environment to undocumented students, and a sense of support for their families… Getting an education is something we should all be able to do without fear… Respecting basic human rights is what we want, being able to receive an education without fear. We are students, parents, brothers, and sister, and want to pursue a brighter future surrounded by support, trust and without fear when we go out to our colleges to get an education.
Katie Messina Silva, a counselor at Chabot says, “we have worked to provide… resources and information to students, faculty and staff allies. We have been working hard over the last 3 years to improve our support services at Chabot and make our campus a safe place for undocumented students. I am proud of the work we have done so far, but there is much work yet to be done. We all came here today asking for your support. Students feel nervous, worried, hopeless and extremely uncertain about what the future holds for them. Students are reluctant to come forward and seek out help and take advantage of the resources that do still exist.”
Inviting the entire board to follow the leadership of city and state officials, Alarcon also states, “on June 6, the Hayward city council declared Hayward a sanctuary City.