A petition is currently circulating through the Bowdoin community, in Brunswick and beyond, to make Bowdoin a sanctuary campus. According to the petition, this would mean those documented under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented peers “are able to remain on campus and focus on their education instead of their fears of being forced to abandon their education and separate from their families.” The initiative comes in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s threat to deport undocumented immigrants from the United States during his presidency.

The petition—addressed to President Clayton Rose, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, Dean of Multicultural Affairs Leana Amaez, Director of the Student Center for Multicultural Life Benjamin Harris and Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols—seeks to “protect our current and future students from intimidation, unfair investigation, and deportation.” The petition urges administrators to take action prior to Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.

The Orient’s editorial board vehemently endorses the establishment of Bowdoin as a sanctuary campus. In an email to the campus community on November 10, following the debrief of the election organized by the McKeen Center, Rose noted “that Bowdoin is among a small number of institutions in America that are designed and especially well-equipped to engage, understand, and debate ideas, to build the skills necessary to respectfully disagree and bridge differences, and to transform ideas into action.” He continued to note that taking action is “[at the] center of our purpose, and also at the center of our democracy.” Establishing Bowdoin as a sanctuary campus is a way to transform conversations about support into action establishing inclusion.

Many cities, including Portland, Maine, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C, and Seattle are designated sanctuary cities. Sanctuary refers to cities who have pledged to refrain from assisting federal officers seeking to deport undocumented immigrants.

In addition to established sanctuary cities, many campuses across the country have launched similar petitions and staged walkouts over the course of the last week. We believe Bowdoin should join this effort for national action. This is one of many ways the College can take an active, public stance in favor of the Common Good both on and off campus.

Bowdoin as a sanctuary campus not only embodies the Offer of the College, but contributes to the Common Good. Given the nation’s current political climate, working towards the Common Good and ensuring everyone knows that they are accepted and have a true home here is more important than ever. To echo the petition, “This is not a time for silence.”

This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Marina Affo, Julian Andrews, Steff Chavez, Grace Handler, Meg Robbins and Joe Seibert.