My First Break

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This is the first break I have truly had since starting college. I don’t mean that this last week was the first time I had days off from classes, because that’s not true, but last week was the first week I didn’t have to work or go to classes at all in the history of my time at FPU. It’s kind of crazy that’s the case, but you know, I wouldn’t change it for anything. This last week was much needed in a lot of ways. I needed the time off to be able to just be. I slept in late, watched a lot of Netflix, read a lot and honestly didn’t even think about any homework until the last weekend of the break. There’s a lot I could have done, and honestly, should have done, but I liked being able to rest. The reason this break came at an especially good time though was because I had a lot of research to do. Upon getting a scholarship to start seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, I realized there’s a lot of adult-ing I have to do. I need to figure out where I will live, how I will get my stuff there, what I’m going to drive and also, how I am going to get there myself. So, the week off gave me a lot of time to start researching some of those things and also focus on this next chapter. I’m looking forward to finishing up at FPU, and cannot wait to see where this next road takes me!

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  • Randy White

    I appreciate the thoughtfulness of this piece, and after having read the recent well-researched American Council on Education Leadership and Advocacy letter addressing the issues of immigration post-election, DACA and sanctuary campuses, I am inclined to agree. I appreciate the efforts being made by FPU to identify and act on every reasonable thing that can be done to protect students, and I prefer those substantive actions rather than statements or declarations. If we we want just laws, we must do the long term work of building support for them, working at their passage perhaps while lamenting their absence and mitigating the suffering caused by that.

  • Walter Saul

    Thank you, Richard and Randy, for taking us on a much-needed walk through the maze of legalities and possibilities surrounding DACA students. I appreciate the “middle way” that Fresno Pacific and its fellow institutions, such as Princeton and Harvard, have chosen to love and care for all of our students and prepare them to serve in a world that badly needs their experienced wisdom.

  • Quentin P. Kinnison

    Two thoughts stand out to me. 1) the students we currently consider “documented” are so considered because of DACA, the very provision our President-Elect has stated he will remove (thus rendering them undocumented again). 2) Statements are often meaningful not so much because of who they stand against, but for who they offer to stand with. As a starting point, such a statement to vulnerable communities who feel or perceive a threat is a substantive action starting point especially when such statements are asking powers to consider taking further substantive action. One such statement of support has been made by 70 Catholic University presidents (some of who have joined the 400 University presidents nationwide in promoting “sanctuary” schools). Their statement falls short of calling for “sanctuary” campuses, but does make significant offers”…to support these students – through our campus counseling and ministry support, through legal resources from those campuses with law schools and legal clinics, and through whatever other services we may have at our disposal.” While our Administrative leaders may not see it wise to state FPU as a “sanctuary” campus, I would encourage clearer and more direct statement of support with the kinds of tangible supports some of our Catholic brothers & sisters are offering as part of a holistic, life-long, pro-life response. The FPU letter asked for 5 things, the first two of which have been addressed. The remaining three are: “that FPU publicly reaffirm its ongoing and historic commitment to be a place of higher education specifically for undocumented students;” “that FPU expand financial aid and human resources for undocumented students;” and “that FPU take tangible measures toward becoming better informed as a community about issues of immigration and the lives of immigrants including the pursuit of the political and cultural understanding necessary to make our campuses safe and hospitable.” I am sure there are other actions an institution like ours committed to loving our neighbor can take as well. I look forward to our Administration pursuing what we can do, rather than only what we can’t.

  • Dr. Lisa Keith

    The “middle way” mentioned by Dr. Saul, is, when referring to indulgences such as extremes of diet, or work, an admirable pursuit. However, when facing humanitarian needs, such as keeping families together, and protecting the underrepresented, I am reminded of a quote by Paulo Freire who said, “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”

    Further, our own Confession of Faith, article 13, is not in passive, or neutral voice, but encourages us to actively “alleviate suffering, reduce strife, promote justice…”. It seems to me that there is disagreement regarding what is just.