The recent Board of Regents policy that bars undocumented people from attending schools at their enrollment capacity lacks purpose, damages universities’ reputations and undermines the fundamental purpose for the Board: to be politically unbiased. Between the five universities that will be affected by this policy, Tech included, only 29 students currently enrolled would have been affected by this policy had it been in place previously. The enactment of this policy seems futile considering the marginal impact it will have during the admissions process. The Board’s action can simply be characterized as political grandstanding and trying to quell a loud but ill-informed minority of the populous that believe undocumented students are sucking away a significant number of seats from documented students.
This policy also puts the universities’ names in the national media, but not for their achievements, but for the perceived xenophobia stemming from the ban. Tech has no choice but to enforce this policy regardless of how the faculty and students feel about such a politically motivated action. Out of state students who are academically qualified to attend Tech might look elsewhere if they believe it to be a campus not welcoming to all, whether true of not. Tech prides itself on educating the future leaders of the world, but now it might have to turn away such leaders who are academically qualified.
The strong political stench of this policy is disturbing. The Board is supposed to be nonpolitical and should not attempt to use Regents policy to enforce federal law; this is the responsibility of the federal government. This could also set a bad precedent for the Regents if they start to use the power to force their political ideals upon the universities. Such decisions with political undertones should be avoided in the future. The Board, and the universities they lead, should not be subject to political whims.