By Angelia McGowan
On Thursday, Feb. 17, before the Senate Education Committee backed legislation that would provide in-state tuition to undocumented students in Colorado, the committee heard from a number of organizations, including Metro State.
President Stephen Jordan presented resolutions to the committee on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate for Senate Bill 126, also known as Colorado Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET).
In attendance with Jordan were Deputy Provost Luis Torres and Chair and Associate Professor of Chicano Studies Ramon Del Castillo, who presented the resolution on behalf of the Faculty Senate to Sen. Angela Giron, one of the main sponsors of the bill.
The measure, which is expected to face challenges, now heads to the Senate Finance Committee.
The Senate Education Committee’s support has made front-page news, but it has been a long time coming for those at Metro State, the first Colorado higher education institution to support an earlier version of the tuition equity bill, says Torres, who emphasized that the College has supported similar bills in 2003, 2009 and now in 2011.
During those early years Torres tried to persuade Latino faculty from other institutions to support it, but he says they didn’t think their Faculty Senates would approve such a resolution.
“Our Faculty Senate should be commended,” says Torres. “Almost all of the other six or seven groups that supported it earlier were primarily Latino community groups. So our Faculty Senate support on behalf of Metro State meant a great deal to those groups because we were a higher education institution. Metro State gave these groups hope that it would one day succeed.”
President of Faculty Senate and Associate Professor of Physics Kamran Sahami reported the faculty voted 64 to 10 in favor of the resolution, “reaffirming Faculty Senate’s commitment to tuition equity among our students. Although the Senate is composed of different faculty than the previous times this issue was discussed, the support for this issue is as strong as ever.”
Jordan’s presentation to the committee was highlighted in a number of news media stories, including FOX 31 and The Colorado Independent .
Read about the Board of Trustees’ discussion of the tuition equity bill in the Feb. 7 @Metro.
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