|Today at Rep. Mimi Walters' office.|
The office door was watched over by an utterly bored Irvine police officer, his badge hanging by a lanyard from around his neck, his head bowed toward the glowing screen of his smart phone. He had obviously judged her as peaceful as the ones who came before (Rebel Girl had asked if all had gone peacefully and been reassured it had) and just kept stroking his phone screen.
Rebel felt a little foolish. Without the others, what was she supposed to do? Her audience, it seemed, was the smiling security guard and the cop. So she told them about her student, the one who kept her late, after class to talk. The student had apologized for her work. The class activities had shown her, she said, that she wasn’t where she needed to be in her essay. Rebel Girl had reassured her that was fine, that that was what the activities were supposed to help her with. She had found it hard to concentrate, the student said, since the president announced his executive order. It affected her family, she told Rebel Girl, because of who they were. Her father was supposed to go on a business trip but he cancelled it, afraid he wouldn’t be allowed back in the U.S. They were now separated from their family overseas. The worse thing was, the student said, was that she felt that the U.S. government thought of her as a lesser person, and that now others had permission to look at her that way too. And they had. She could feel it. She had spent her childhood under a dictatorship and it had never felt as bad as this she concluded. Her eyes were wet, shining.
Rebel Girl said the things you say. She offered sympathy, moral support, free legal counsel and told her, yes, she was on her way to a protest about that very issue but Rebel Girl had the feeling that none of it was enough. How could it be?
The security guard nodded. The cop said nothing. Rebel Girl thanked them for their service, snapped a photo and left.
By the time Rebel Girl got home, it was dark and this message waited for her in her email:
Jan. 31, 2017 – Our Commitment to All, Following Executive Order Affecting Seven Countries
Yesterday, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley issued this statement regarding President Trump’s executive order:
Over the weekend the Trump administration issued an executive order that restricts the ability of students, faculty and staff from certain countries from being able to enter the United States. The action caused great concern at colleges and universities across the nation. We also witnessed growing protests and confusion over the implementation of the executive order. As the California Community Colleges Board of Governors clearly stated, we support the ability of all students attending our colleges to attend without fear or intimidation.
During this time of confusing rhetoric and uncertainty, South Orange County Community College District, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College wish to reaffirm our values of inclusiveness and diversity. Our primary job is to educate all students who stand to benefit from higher education. We continually strive to create a welcoming environment where all people can learn and grow.
We are here to help all students. If you know of a student who may need confidential assistance, please contact our College Vice Presidents of Student Services: Dr. Juan Avalos, Saddleback College, at (949) 582-4566, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Dr. Linda Fontanilla, Irvine Valley College, at (949) 451-5624, email@example.com or visit the campus student services offices.
Dr. Debra L. Fitzsimons, Interim Chancellor
Dr. Tod A. Burnett, President, Saddleback College
Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore, President, Irvine Valley College
C.M. Brahmbhatt, Interim Vice Chancellor, Business Services
Dr. David Bugay, Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
Dr. Robert Bramucci, Vice Chancellor, Technology & Learning Services
This is not enough either. How could it be?