Students sit with ASU President Michael Crow in open forum luncheon

Tempe Undergraduate Student Government held a forum for students to discuss concerns with University President Michael Crow

ASU President Michael Crow reinforced his support for students protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA) at Tempe's Undergraduate Student Government open forum. 

The audience was made up of students from all four of ASU's campuses, with 65 seats available for undergraduate students, 25 available for graduate students and students from other campuses tuned in via live stream. Each campus allowed two students to ask Crow questions.

Topics ranged from sustainability, leadership and Crow's stance on protecting the rights of students who are recipients of DACA, a program that defers deportation for those brought to U.S. illegally as children. 

“We are an educational institution," Crow said. "Our basic theory of life is that we are here to educate those students who are qualified to be educated and admitted to Arizona State University."

Crow said he supports DACA students and the passage of the DREAM Act, which is a multi-step process providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented minors brought here by family members. 

“We support the DREAM Act and the passage of the DREAM Act as soon as possible," he said. "We think holding children accountable for the actions of their parents is legally a strange thing.”

Crow said each student should be treated the same, regardless of status.

"All of our students are our students, and we treat all of our students the same," he said. "If someone is interested in information about our students, the only way they are going to get information about our students is if they come in there with a court order that allows us to violate the information act associated with students. So we don't treat any students any different."

Brandon Bishop, TUSG president, said he felt the event was a success, noting the small size of the forum allowed for more interaction between faculty, students and Crow.

“We wanted to bring it into a more intimate event so students could talk and ask their questions,” Bishop said.

"I think it went really well, we were able to fit in a lot of student questions and I think the structure we did today allowed for more one on one time," Bishop said.

But Tanzil Chowdhury, a materials science and engineering freshman, said he was upset with the format. 

“To be honest I didn’t think it was much of a productive forum, most of the time was spent in the mixer phase where students spoke to one another,” Chowdhury said. 

“(Crow) only took two questions from each campus, there was one question about a vague concept of leadership, a lot of them were about DACA, while we appreciate his stance being honest he doesn’t have much influence," he said.

Chowdhury, who is also a member of Students for a Democratic Society, said Crow should have answered more questions about tuition. After the forum, the club posted a scathing post to its Facebook page about the way the luncheon was structured.

We understand that the legislature poses an issue and that’s what he normally speaks to when we asked him to lower or freeze tuition," Chowdhury said. "If his hands are really tied with the legislature, he should be willing to forgo his bonus to stand with students to increase affordability on campus.” 


Correction: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this article cited the luncheon as the first-ever and has since been corrected.


Reach the reporter at brookehanrahanreports@gmail.com and follow @brookehanrahan1 on Twitter.

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