Jonathan Crimmins

Jonathan Crimmins

“Profoundly disappointing” was the way that Clayton Rose, President of Bowdoin College, recently referred to President Trump’s desire to have Congress devise a solution to the so called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

At the time President Obama said that Congress must eventually address the issue of the affected individuals.

If Congress decides to change the program and remove people who are not authorized to stay in the United States would it really be any different than Bowdoin’s own policies?

Let’s suggest for a moment that Brunswick and the area occupied by Bowdoin are their own nation. This nation is a prosperous nation and one that many have tried to make their way to over the years.

Now, let’s suppose that I had been brought here to Brunswick by no fault of my own. I grew up, a child residing in the shadows, and tried to do the right thing. However, I never became a legal resident of the town.

Over time I became enamored with the perfectly manicured campus that I saw across the way. The buildings, the opportunity, the chance for advancement. I coveted all that the offspring of the elite had. Yet, all of that, was outside my reach.

I appreciated all there was to offer on campus and I wanted to make something better for myself than my parents had had access to as young people. I wanted to belong.

The only problem was that I had not gone through the channels to gain admittance to the campus. Sure, I could walk across the campus. I could get a visitor pass. I could even be let into some of the most sacred places on campus on a temporary basis. Alas, I would eventually be asked to leave once I had overstayed my welcome.

In fact, on the Bowdoin College website there is even mention of, “unauthorized people” not being allowed in some of the buildings on campus. “Unauthorized people”? Sounds very judgmental to me and not in keeping with their ideals on inclusion.

And while the College’s President decries the announcement on possible DACA changes, his very own admission’s department requires an application process for possible DACA students. The Bowdoin College admission website states, “Undocumented or DACA students should follow the same application process for all first year or transfer domestic students. As with all domestic applicants, students will be evaluated within the context of their high school.”

Bowdoin requires admission to their College to be a student there? That sounds like filling out forms and getting an identification card. It sounds like someone keeping track of who is and who is not in a certain area. In short, it sounds like the process to become a citizen.

Like it or not we are all governed by rules. Whether those rules are set forth for admission to a nation or they are set forth for admission to a college they have their place. Not for a minute do I believe that I would be allowed to live or take classes on the Bowdoin campus were I not admitted there. I would be asked to leave or be kicked off of the property.

Whether you are a child of the 1% enjoying the fruits of a billion dollar endowment, or a person working 9 to 5, you should live under the same rules. If the President of Bowdoin really believes that the decision was, “profoundly disappointing,” maybe he needs to open his campus up to anyone who wants to come in regardless of academic record.

On second thought, maybe the Congress needs to follow the lead of President Rose and Bowdoin College and insist that anyone who wants to be admitted to the country file an application first.

That’s my two cents…

Jonathan Crimmins can be reached at j_ [email protected]


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