A lot has been going on in the world recently, and much of it is affecting NAGAP members and their communities. First I want to address our Texas members – 111 strong – who have been battling Hurricane Harvey. We know a number of you and your families were hit hard, and your communities will be recovering for months to come. Fortunately, the state is large and many of our members were not directly impacted. It is no surprise that our TxGAP chapter is rallying around their community and demonstrating the power of our NAGAP networks and the helpful and caring spirit of our community. I encourage anyone else interested in helping to do so; the link below offers multiple avenues so you can pick what resonates most with you: http://fb.me/7jdGDUX11
While those hit by Harvey are still in the throes of full-swing recovery efforts, we now face the unknown threats of Hurricane Irma. We hold our SEAGAP chapter and our many members in the Southeast Atlantic in our thoughts as they brace against the fierce winds and turmoil that is blowing into their region. Please know that I am thinking of you all and praying for your safety.
Though many of us can’t fully appreciate the enormity of a hurricane, we can appreciate what political turmoil and division is doing to our communities, both locally and nationally. The latest storm to hit many of our universities and institutions is the pending repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program if lawmakers are unable to pass legislation on the matter in the next six months. Hundreds of thousands of students across the United States will be affected, and many will not realize their dreams of a higher education.
In the wake of adversity and discouragement, whether it be a natural disaster or the tenacious political climate, NAGAP stands firm in its commitment to diversity and inclusion. This commitment embraces respect for differences including age, culture, disability, education, ethnicity, gender, life experiences, race, religion, and sexual orientation. In addition, we have an obligation to do everything possible to ensure our campuses are safe spaces for all of our community members, and that the students on our campuses are positioned to get the best education possible.
If you are dissatisfied and looking for a way to engage, consider writing to your representatives in Washington expressing your concerns and/or suggestions with respect to immigration and, specifically, the DACA program. Regardless of how you feel about DACA, I urge you to remember the healthiest debates are ones in which there are multiple viewpoints and perspectives. Be open to ideas and arguments that are different from yours, and keep as a foundation the importance of kindness, respect, and professionalism in all interactions and communications.
In servitude and with tremendous pride in our incredible association,