I Met Eldon Baines this week at the first stop of the Be The Change Tour. During the talk back session Eldon purposed that student join him in Atlanta for the Board of Regents meeting where one of the agenda items was a purposed ban on undocumented students at several publicly funded Georgia colleges. Eldon wrote up his experienced and gave me permission to put it on the blog.
We had very short notice that this policy change was going to come up for vote
so soon. Even without much time to prepare, we gathered a few people together
who could afford to miss a day of their classes to help us speak out against
this discriminatory policy. We made it to the meeting on time, but when the time
came to vote on this issue, we were shocked. Nobody, not students, not
professors, not representatives from the ACLU, nobody was allowed to speak. The
facts discovered by the committee were put forward in a direct manner before the
policies were voted upon. Every single item in the list reiterated the same
basic facts: There is no need for policy change in this area and the
unreasonable fears of undocumented students somehow obstructing the education of
documented students were false. Despite this, all four recommended provisions
were voted in with little further discussion.
Our group was appalled at the blasé attitude the Board of Regents adopted
during these proceedings. They appeared unconcerned with the real effects of
blocking deserving students from an education and totally unfazed by the
numerous protesters against this proposal. It’s really very disheartening to see
how inattentive the system seems to be toward those people who need its
protection and encouragement most.