Student govt wants USC to take in Syrian refugees

A resolution due to be introduced Tuesday in the University of Southern California student Senate would request that the university set aside spaces and scholarships for Syrian refugees.

The resolution begins by stating that "the Syrian Civil War is in its fifth year, and there is no indication that a peaceful resolution to the conflict is forthcoming.” It goes on to claim that "millions of Syrian scholars and students are among those displaced."

Observing that those individuals "require emergency assistance and refuge," the resolution then urges the school to commit to "joining the Institute of International Education’s [IIE] Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis and by thereby committing to offer scholarships and spaces to Syrian students and scholars fleeing for their lives."

The IIE, according to its website, provides "educational, cultural, and professional opportunities transcend borders to foster a peaceful and interconnected world where all people achieve their full potential; think and act as global citizens; and build inclusive, thriving communities."

The USC resolution invokes a similar motivation, saying the university's "core values compel it to act in solidarity with Syrian students and scholars, in keeping with its commitment to develop 'human beings and society as a whole through cultivation of the human mind and spirit'."

The resolution would call on USC's Provost to issue an official statement by the end of the current academic year, "detailing the specific spaces and financial assistance that it will provide to Syrian refugee students and scholars."

Undergraduate student Sen. Jacob Ellenhorn told Campus Reform that the resolution will be officially introduced on Tuesday, and should come up for a vote one week later, at which time he intends to oppose it.

"I think this is kind of a ploy to bring attention back to their movement" after the terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night, Ellenhorn said. "It's just poor timing; it seemed almost insensitive to propose something like this in light of the news that one of the terrorists in Paris was a Syrian refugee."

Besides, he added, "the school raises tuition every year because they can't afford things, so I don't know how they're going to afford to take in refugees."

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