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SBCC offers safe place for students to discuss post-election concerns

Santa Barbara City College’s administration is receiving calls from students expressing their fears of deportation following the presidential election.

Last week, Paul Jarrell, the school’s executive vice president of educational programs, issued a statement to remind students that they and their voices matter.

However, SBCC has not joined other college campuses calling themselves “sanctuary campuses” to protect undocumented students from mass deportation. It’s unclear if administrators feel the need to.

“It makes me feel unsafe,” said Patricia Castillo-Olvera, a second year student at Santa Barbara City College.

Some of Castillo-Olvera’s friends stopped going to school following election results. School administrators admit receive calls from students who are fearful and anxious.

“Our role here is to support students to the fullest, whatever that means. We need to create spaces for where they’re able to come to people like myself on campus,” said Luis Giraldo, director of diversity and cultural competency.

Giraldo says he feels it’s his responsibility to help these students. He and other people on campus created a brown bag lunch series. It’s a two hour forum where students to share their fears, anxieties and worries about being undocumented or other topics.

The Brown Bag Lunch Series will be held at the Maxwell Overlook on November 21, 23 and 30 between 1 and 3 p.m. SBCC is working to create safe spaces for students to share their feelings and reach commonground. Everyone is invited.

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