Declaration of Open Access and Protection
A message to all students and potential students of Columbia Gorge Community College.
- Columbia Gorge Community College is committed to the success of every student at the College. The core of our mission is to build dreams and transform lives in service to the people of the College District by providing high-quality education and training opportunities that are accessible to all students. In short, we will continue to support the college’s diverse student population including students from other countries and those representing a variety of religious beliefs.
- Columbia Gorge Community College shall operate in alignment with the spirit of Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820. This law has been on the books since 1987, and underpins Oregon’s commitment to equity. While the law does not directly apply to community colleges, it does prohibit the use of state and local law enforcement agency resources “for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration law.” Further, the college shall fully embrace the Higher Education Coordinating Commission “Equity Lens” Document.
- Columbia Gorge Community College supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program that provides a temporary reprieve from deportation for students who were brought to this country as children.
- Columbia Gorge Community College shall comply with all Federal and State laws such as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Oregon Tuition Equity Act (provides in-state tuition for undocumented students) and ORS 181.850 (prohibits use of state resources for enforcement of Federal immigration law). In this regard, the college SHALL NOT: 1) Share student records containing immigration or citizenship status without a court order, other legal authority or evidence of a pending criminal investigation with law enforcement agencies including officials for the U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement (ICE) or the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) or the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); or 2) allow federal immigration officials to perform immigration enforcement exercises on campus without legal authority, unless there is a pressing safety issue pertaining to the college or in the surrounding area; or 3) act on behalf of federal agencies to enforce immigration laws or aid in deportation; or 4) allow any college employee during working hours to participate in any voluntary program of immigration enforcement on behalf of federal agents and will neither investigate nor inquire about a student’s immigration status.
- Columbia Gorge Community College believes in the physical safety and emotional well-being of all students at the College, and ensuring that our campuses are safe and inviting for all students and their families, is paramount to students being able to achieve success.
- Columbia Gorge Community College supports each individual’s freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression and will protect student rights to actively exercise these rights on behalf of their values and beliefs within state and federal constitutional boundaries. We will continue to build the college's capacity for respectful and challenging dialogue across differences.