An open letter to President Lahey

Jack Onofrio

Dear President Lahey,

​As you are aware, this past year Pomona College issued a statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). This statement was incredibly popular within the world of higher education, and was described by its authors as a “moral imperative” and “national necessity”. Since the release of this statement, 646 different University Presidents have signed on in support. These Presidents represent every single one of our 20 peer-institutes, as well as every Ivy League and 23 different Connecticut schools. This past spring, both a faculty petition and a Student Government declaration called for you to sign onto the Pomona statement. For understandable reasons, you decided not to; I am writing this letter asking you to reconsider the requests.

I understand that you want to keep Quinnipiac removed from the political turmoil that has stricken the country. However, I believe that we have a moral obligation as a University to inform our representatives in government that we support the intentions and outcomes of the DACA program. Furthermore, the proud alumni of Quinnipiac who received their degrees under the DACA program deserve acknowledgment.

Publicly supporting DACA does not require any condemnation of President Trump. It does not require you to take a side on the left or the right. This is not a request to support one group over another. We simply ask that Quinnipiac publicly reaffirms the fact that DACA recipients have been, and continue to be, exemplary members of our community who deserve the right to continue their education. Now more than ever, as Congress begins work on a replacement for DACA, the country needs to hear this message.

This school owes you a tremendous amount. Under your leadership, we have become the great institution that we are today. For this, I cannot thank you enough. However, I feel that by remaining silent, Quinnipiac is committing itself to the wrong side of history. Edmund Burke once said “the only thing necessary for evil to exist is for good people to remain silent”. You are a good man, President Lahey. I implore you not to remain silent. Without this program, the Quinnipiac community will lose valuable members. I once heard you say that you would take any Quinnipiac student as your son or daughter. I ask you now, if your child was facing deportation because of circumstances entirely outside of their control, what would you do?

Thank you,

Jack Onofrio

Class of 2019

*Disclaimer: The statements above solely reflect the beliefs of the author and do not represent the views of the Student Government Association.