The student government of the University of California voted down a no-confidence motion against new UC President Janet Napolitano on Monday.
The move came as a disappointment to many students on UC campuses, who had hoped the UC Student Association would rebuke Napolitano for her role in mass deportations of illegal immigrants as Homeland Security Secretary under President Obama.
“We call for a president devoted to rebuilding our capacity for teaching, research, and learning — not a specialist in cyber surveillance, law enforcement, and border security,” wrote a student workers union in a statement to the Washington Times.
The UCSA leaders felt that a no-confidence vote would damage their relationship the new president, whose last day with the Obama Administration was Friday.
Speaking from a purely relationship-building standpoint, regardless of who is in the UC Office of the President, we need to have a relationship with them so that we can demand things for students,” said Safeena Mecklai, chair of the UCSA board, in a statement to The Daily Californian. “If we set up a list of demands and she doesn’t follow through with them, that would be a time to explore a vote of no confidence.”
UCSA did consider making a list of demands, but decided to postpone a vote on that list until October. Demands would include the establishment of all UC campuses as “sanctuary cities” from which illegal immigrants could not be deported.
Andrea Gordillo, an undocumented immigrant student who proposed the list of demands as well as the no-confidence vote, expressed disappointment that UCSA ruled against her.
“I don’t really believe in that organization anymore,” she said in a statement.