A resolution passed by the student government at the University of California, Irvine, seeks to give admissions preference, housing, and funding to college-aged Syrian refugees.
The resolution (R52-12), which passed unanimously in the student senate on October 18, must be reviewed by the senate advocacy committee before it is passed along to university administration. If approved by the administration, the bill would provide admission preference, housing and funding to college-aged Syrian refugees.
The bill cites other universities who already participate in similar programs such as Illinois Institute of Technology, Bryn Mawr College, Michigan State University, and the University of Southern California.
Members of the UCI student body are questioning the willingness of their student senators to make such a significant decision behind closed doors. UCI College Republicans President Ariana Rowlands expressed her concern about the process by which this decision was made.
“I have no problem with Syrian refugees receiving education. They have been through incredible hardship. I have a problem with a closed student government politically and artificially endorsing policy measures that limits the ability of every prospective UC Irvine student to attain one of a finite amount of seats at this university by favoring non-American over American students. This top-down decision made by the student senators behind closed doors has yet to be announced publicly and does not represent the student body of UC Irvine but rather, represents the social justice objectives of the elite,” Rowlands said.
“As long as there is one American citizen that, despite meeting qualifications, cannot get into a university or receive a scholarship due to difficult circumstances, we have no room to help non-Americans receive a higher education using our education system,” Rowlands added. “We need to help our own people with want first. Taking seats away from deserving American citizens and giving them to refugees is just political pandering at the expense of citizens already here, further requiring them to look to government for a handout, in turn furthering government’s power.”
In an Oct. 20 statement that was posted to the UC Irvine College Republicans Facebook page, the club condemned the resolution. “We cannot allow political correctness to overshadow reality,” the statement read. “While it would be ideal that our system allows us to help all those in want, such is not possible if a fair, merit-based, financially stable system is to be upheld.”
Breitbart Tech will continue to cover this story as the bill seeks approval in the senate advocacy committee and then with the university administration.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org