Chancellor pledges to protect undocumented

Wolf Yeigh and Eric Murray

University of Washington Bothell Chancellor Wolf Yeigh and Cascadia College President Eric Murray signed a pledge Tuesday to protect undocumented students on the shared campus.

The pledge commits the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College to support and protect students regardless of their national origin, immigration status or citizenship. It also promises to protect student information and to not tolerate harassment or hate speech.

Yeigh and Murray signed the Inclusive Campus Pledge at an event at the Activities and Recreation Center attended by Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume and Deputy Mayor Davina Duerr. Rheaume said the city is working on a similar pledge. Earlier this month the Bothell Police Department reaffirmed its policy of refraining from inquiring into anyone’s immigration status.

Photo: from left, Davina Duerr, Wolf Yeigh, Eric Murray, Andy Rheaume (photos by Marc Studer)

The pledge shows the campus is supportive of its immigrant and underrepresented population, said Yeigh, who as an immigrant himself in 1976 knows how it feels.

“A lot of the things brought up in recent conversations actually hit me personally and institutionally,” Yeigh said. “I hope this declaration will signal to those outside our community our core values, what we believe in and what is our formal practice at UW Bothell and Cascadia College.”

Murray says the pledge is more meaningful than a symbolic gesture. 

“We would like to do as much as we possibly can to protect our institutions,” he said. “I think we have the policies in place, and this pledge makes those policies and practices very apparent.”

Murray and Yeigh are keeping their signed copies in their offices as reminders of their values on the shared campus. Another copy of the pledge was available for those in attendance to sign, and it will be available on campus for signing in coming weeks.