What We Believe

Our Puget Sound mission statement affirms that education here, both academic and co-curricular, “encourages a rich knowledge of self and others; an appreciation of commonality and difference; the full, open, and civil discussion of ideas; thoughtful moral discourse; and the integration of learning, preparing the university's graduates to meet the highest tests of democratic citizenship.”

Among the highest tests of democratic citizenship is the protection of democracy itself. In the face of changing legal, social, and political contexts, we reaffirm:

  • The safety and well-being of every member of our campus community is at the heart of our commitment to being a fully welcoming and inclusive space for all who live, work, and learn at University of Puget Sound.
  • All members of our academic community should be free to live and learn without fear.
  • We support all members of the Puget Sound community regardless of citizenship or immigration status, as well as religion, sex, race, color, national origin, creed, age, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, gender identity, or any other basis protected by law.

What We Do

  • Puget Sound welcomes undocumented students to apply for admission and offers institutional financial aid regardless of immigration status. We assist undocumented students in accessing state and other aid for which they are eligible. If a Puget Sound student, or a student’s family member, loses permission provided by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program to work on or off campus, Student Financial Services will re-evaluate that change in personal or family circumstances and make appropriate financial aid adjustments.
  • Puget Sound welcomes students, faculty, and staff of all faiths and political beliefs. An individual’s religious and political beliefs are not a factor in employment decisions at the university.
  • President Crawford was among the initial group of presidents, now over 600, who signed a letter urging President Trump to extend the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.
  • University of Puget Sound leaders are working with national higher education organizations and are actively encouraging members of Washington state’s congressional delegation to support passage of the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (or BRIDGE) Act, which would bring the provisions of DACA into law.
  • Puget Sound protects the privacy of all members of the campus community in accordance with federal and state privacy laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. We will not release information about the immigration status of students, faculty, or staff unless signed consent is given or we are compelled to do so by law. The university will do everything in its legal, ethical, and moral authority to protect the privacy of our campus members.
  • Security Services staff members do not inquire about immigration status or religious affiliation when performing their duties. Security Services will not partner with federal, state, or other local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law except when compelled to do so by law.
  • Puget Sound will not voluntarily cooperate with immigration enforcement officials and agents or assist in any efforts to interrogate, detain, or deport our students, faculty, or staff solely on the basis of their immigration status, unless compelled to do so by law.
  • Puget Sound provides many resources to support those who may have concerns about their immigration status. For additional information please contact Dave Wright ’96, university chaplain and director for spiritual life and civic engagement, for confidential consultations and personalized referrals.

Sanctuary Campus. Because “sanctuary” is a broad phrase, it may carry a sense of protection beyond what is in fact possible to provide. Puget Sound has not declared itself a sanctuary campus, but continues to be deeply committed to offering services and resources that help our students achieve their educational goals, including the provision of accurate and specific information regarding privacy protections and support for students as outlined in published documents and referenced above. We will keep this page updated with any new developments, and encourage you to check it regularly.

Undocumented Students Work Group. Puget Sound has reactivated the Undocumented Students Work Group, chaired by Rev. Dave Wright ‘96 and comprised of Professors Pepa Lago-Grana and Robin Jacobson, and staff colleagues Eowyn Greeno (International Programs), Mona Lawrence (Student Employment), Kariann Lee (Academic Advising), Maggie Mittuch (Student Financial Services), and Vivie Nguyen (Intercultural Engagement) to assist all of us in continuing to be vigilant, open, and flexible in considering all that can be done--ethically, morally, and legally-- to protect Puget Sound students and all members of our campus community.

All members of the Puget Sound community are encouraged, as individual citizens, to contact Congressional representatives to voice your opinions on issues of democracy of importance to you. Contact information for representatives in Washington and other areas is available online.

Posted Jan. 30, 2017

University of Puget Sound is a signatory on letters in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) authored on behalf of member institutions of numerous higher education organizations, including the American Council on Education, and on a joint statement issued by the Washington State Council of Presidents, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Washington Student Achievement Council, and Independent Colleges of Washington.