Chants of “This is what democracy looks like!” and “No human is illegal!” echoed through campus as students participated in a walkout to demand CU Boulder deem itself a “sanctuary campus” for undocumented students. They joined up to 80 campuses that were signed up to protest Wednesday around the country, according to organizers at other schools.
The walkout concluded outside the University Administrative Center — which houses the chancellor’s office — where students may soon send a letter pushing the request.
For the students, fears of action against undocumented students and discrimination against other minorities were heightened after the election of President-elect Donald Trump, who used what many have called divisive rhetoric about undocumented immigrants during his campaign and has promised to step up deportations.
The Facebook event page for the walkout and march said, “It’s time that we unite to protect our most vulnerable people — including undocumented immigrants, Black people, Muslims, Queer people, and all people of color.”
Students initially walked out of classes around 3 p.m. and gathered on the Norlin Quad to discuss the goals of the protest and make signs before marching to the chancellor’s office. Around 3:30 p.m. the march commenced, and more students joined en route to the destination.
After the march proceeded around the Engineering Center, Farrand Field and Wardenburg Health Center, the group assembled on the steps and lawn of the chancellor’s office, and the leaders of the march said, “We need sanctuary on this campus!” and began another round of calls to action.
“Education is one of the best alleviators of poverty, and everyone should have educational access regardless of their documentation status,” said Katie Wallace, a CU student who participated in both the walkout and march.
Leaders of the walkout also announced that several student groups were in the process of drafting a letter to the chancellor requesting CU’s designation as a sanctuary campus.
The unusually warm November temperature matched the passion of the students, who are pushing an action they say is necessary to ensure a safe community for immigrant CU students.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Gavin Daugherty at Gavin.Daugherty@colorado.edu.