Dear Harvard College Students,
Earlier this morning, the Trump Administration announced that President Trump will terminate, in six-months, the five-year old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As I write this message, I am both deeply concerned and saddened about what this means for the nearly 800,000 young people in the United States, known as “dreamers,” who will be directly and adversely affected by this decision.
In ending this program, this nation has taken a step backwards. Today, the futures of these young people — including those Harvard College students who benefit from the DACA program — are in jeopardy. These students are valued members of our community with the same desire and potential to contribute to the well-being of our society as every other student on our campus.
You have all by now received President Faust’s message to the community, and if you haven’t already, I encourage you to read it. I wish to make abundantly clear that Harvard College stands for equality, diversity, and opportunity for everyone. As a child growing up in New York City, I regularly visited the Statue of Liberty with my family. As a first-generation immigrant born to parents who were once refugees, I believed that America’s exceptionalism was in the generosity of its people. I was moved by the words written by Emma Lazarus: “A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome.”
I know that many in our community — those directly impacted by President Trump’s actions and those who support this wonderful community of people at Harvard — are now grappling with uncertainty. But know this: Harvard College supports you and as we move forward I want to remind you of what resources are available to you right now:
First, I encourage you, as needed, to reach out to the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC) for free legal and immigration support. They can help answer any questions you may have right now. You can contact any of the following people to answer your questions or guide you to the appropriate resources:
- Sabrineh Ardalan, Assistant Director HIRC can be reached at 617-384-7504 or [email protected]
- Jason Corral, Immigration Attorney at HIRC can be reached at 617-495-5141 or [email protected]
- Liala Buoniconti, Social Worker at HIRC can be reached at 617-496-5087 or [email protected]
Second, Katie Derzon, the College’s Fellow for Undocumented Students within the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is available for one on one meetings. Katie can be reached at 617-496-4731 or [email protected].
Third, if you need someone to talk to, or are looking for mental health support, the social workers and counselors at Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are ready to meet you.
- Kevin Wehmhoefer, Therapist at CAMHS can be reached at 617-495-2042 or [email protected]
- Carolina Gonzalez, Therapist at CAMHS can be reached at 617-495-2042 or [email protected]
And finally, if you need academic support during this time, you should reach out to your resident deans, tutors, and the academic advisers at the Bureau of Study Counsel (BSC), as they are happy to meet with you.
- Aurora Sanfeliz, Academic Counselor at BSC can be reached at 617-495-2581 or [email protected]
- Niti Seth, Academic Counselor at BSC can be reached at 617-495-2581 or [email protected]
The resources I have listed here are not exhaustive. Please visit this EDI website for a complete listing.
Today, I hope that our nation’s promise can be reclaimed by the thoughtful and proud members of this Harvard community. For those who seek additional information, the HIRC team will host a session at 3:00 p.m. in the PBHA Parlor Room. Directly following this session, Act on a Dream will host a rally on the steps of Memorial Church at 4:00 p.m.
As we move forward, Harvard College will continue to find ways to support every member of our community. It is during times such as these that I want to remind you that every student at Harvard College is a valued and equal member of this community — regardless of your immigration status, race, creed, religion, gender, identity, ability, or sexual orientation. You are all Harvard. And you have a home here on campus.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College