UNLV conservatives petition AGAINST sanctuary campus

While their peers are petitioning for campuses to be declared safe spaces for illegal immigrants, some UNLV students are taking the opposite approach.

The University of Nevada Las Vegas Campus Conservatives group has created an online petition urging the school’s president to reject demands that he declare UNLV a “sanctuary campus, Heat Street reports.

According the The Las Vegas Review-Journal, thirty UNLV students and faculty had previously presented a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures to the President’s Office last week making the sanctuary campus demands.

[RELATED: MAP: Schools cave to 'sanctuary campus' demands]

Now, conservative students have sponsored a counter-petition demanding that President Len Jessup say “no” to the request asking the school to become a sanctuary campus, arguing that a University has no place deciding which federal laws they should abide by.

“We oppose becoming a sanctuary campus because we don’t think a university—especially a federally funded university—should be deciding what federal laws they follow,” Campus Conservatives co-founder Jordan Escoto told Heat Street.

Escoto is a legal U.S. citizen of Hispanic descent, and says he wants to help students understand the detriments that a sanctuary campus designation would entail for the university.

[RELATED: 'Sanctuary campus' leaders admit that colleges can't ban ICE]

“The people who are pro-sanctuary campus try to make it an argument about opposing hate speech and bigotry,” Escoto said. “That’s not what it’s really about. They’re opposing rule of law and equal treatment of students.”

Christina Zbejczyk, the other co-founder of Campus Conservatives, added that contrary to the impression created by the pro-sanctuary campus petition, there is actually a great deal of disagreement among UNLV students about the issue.

“The campus is more politically diverse than they let on,” she asserted, noting that the Campus Conservatives drew more than 60 interested students on the first day they set up a booth. “It’s just people are scared of the backlash if they’re labeled conservative.”

At press time, the Campus Conservatives' petition had garnered 301 signatures out of its goal of 500.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Lawyers give sanctuary campus efforts bleak prognosis]

University President Len Jessup will meet with the proponents of making UNLV a sanctuary campus on Thursday, while the Campus Conservatives aren't sure they will even be granted the meeting they have requested.

President Jessup told the Review-Journal last week that “UNLV will continue to protect its students, faculty, and staff against racism, discrimination, bullying, or other intimidation that threatens the civility and diversity that makes us strong and proud.”

Campus Reform reached out to the President’s Office to see if he would be meeting with the Campus Conservatives to discuss the issue, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AutumnDawnPrice