The University’s Board of Regents received a report detailing the benefits and drawbacks of an adopting in-state tuition rate for undocumented students from the Coalition of Tuition Equality in mid-March. Since then, members of CTE have awaited University response.
While the board’s last meeting of the winter term is at 3 p.m. Thursday, CTE plans to make a presence to provoke a response, LSA junior John D’Adamo, the group’s spokesman said.
During the March meeting, University Provost Phil Hanlon said he and University President Mary Sue Coleman will create a committee to review the report.
Some members of CTE participated in Wednesday’s protest organized by One Michigan — a Detroit-based organization led by undocumented youth . Public Policy senior Kevin Mersol-Barg — co-founder of CTE, one of the arrested students in the protests, a drafter of the report to the Regents and current Daily columnist — said the event served as a precursor for the protest to come.
“This will be a catalyst for people’s interest, people’s willingness to put themselves out there in solidarity with undocumented students tomorrow,” Mersol-Barg said. “Seeing the inspiring actions today, I think they’ll come even more so than they otherwise would.”
Jose Franco, the event organizer for One Michigan, said he applauds CTE’s efforts to persuade the regents changing University policy. While their protests have not resulted in a response, Franco said he hopes this one will help CTE’s cause.
“We’ve been hearing that there’s possibly a vote tomorrow on that policy change, so we’re trying to use this to pressure the University to change their stance,” Franco said.
During his Twitter Town Hall Wednesday night, Regent Mark Bernstein (D–Ann Arbor) praised this protesters.
“UMich has long tradition of student activism. Part of our history/culture. Proud of this engagement,” Bernstein tweeted.
In an interview with The Michigan Daily after the Town Hall, Bernstein, who has previously expressed support for tuition equality, declined to comment on the possibility of the issue surfacing at the meeting.
“This is a matter of great urgency,” Bernstein said. “This affects students and their families in a profound way, and every day that we don’t address this is another day we miss the opportunity to attract the best students in the state.”
Before LSA sophomore Ramiro Alvarez was arrested in yesterday’s protests, he said he would be attending the meeting, if possible.
“Hopefully I’ll be at the meeting if I don’t spend too much time in jail.”