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De Anza College President Brian Murphy speaks to a crowd.

Amid serious angst, De Anza College President Brian Murphy demonstrates true leadership2 min read

January 12, 2017

In a December email addressed to the student body in support of undocumented students, De Anza College President Brian Murphy and the college administration demonstrated their progressive leadership in a resolute statement detailing the need for administrative action as Donald Trump’s fascistic administration takes power.

Thus far, Murphy’s persistent message of solidarity and his vocal opposition toward Trump’s demagoguery should be celebrated because above all else, his job should be to serve as a symbol of De Anza’s unique and extraordinary commitment to social justice, as a school which espouses an incredibly diverse student body and which according to Marisa Spatafore, Associate Vice President of communications and external relations, easily has more than 1,000 undocumented students.

Within the statement was a summary of two recent resolutions unanimously passed by the Foothill-De Anza Board of trustees – one upholding a continued support for DACA and the second a statement of non-compliance for any potential discriminatory registries based on religion or nationality. As well, he laid out the school’s commitment to immigrant rights education for the upcoming quarter:

De Anza College is well-known as an epicenter for equity, social justice, and political volunteerism, and thus Murphy’s commitment to the aforementioned values seems hardly surprising. But, his vocalized opposition toward Trump and his policies, comes at a time when resistance to xenophobia and the rise of fascism is erroneously portrayed as an act of partisanship. Just last month, Milpitas high school’s president was forcibly placed on academic leave after he led a walk out demonstration which culminated with him loudly saying “f*** Donald Trump.”

Already, president-elect Donald Trump has called for an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the need for a Muslim registry, and mass deportations. Backed by GOP-domination within every single level of government, the ability for his rhetoric to coalesce as actual policy is vastly underestimated, and it is why now, more than ever, the faculty and administration of every educational institution must embrace solidarity and actively take a stand against the incoming White House. Brian Murphy’s willingness to see danger and racism as it is, even correctly denouncing Donald Trump as a “dog of a racist pig,” has set a standard of leadership worthy of respect.

All members of the student and faculty body, especially the senate which serves as a meaningful voice for several thousand students, should proudly embrace any administrative member, Murphy or otherwise, who is clearly willing to challenge the noxious boat that is about to set sail — a boat which will be doomed to sink from the get go and one which will take millions of working class Americans (white and not), immigrants, and students along with it.

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