Julia Mack, a Spanish professor and an event organizer, said she thought only four people would show up to the event: the professors who organized it.
“It’s not in the numbers that you count the support — it’s in commitment and heart and spirit,” she said.
The group discussed asking the administration to reaffirm its anti-discrimination policy and releasing a statement saying UNC should become a sanctuary university in the future.
“The reason why almost everybody who was here was here was because this is personal,” Mack said. “This is family. This reaches where I keep my heart and so you don’t turn your back on someone who calls for help when they’re somebody that close.”
Mariá DeGuzmán, director of Latino/a Studies and another organizer, said House Bill 318 — a North Carolina bill signed by Governor Pat McCrory in October 2015 that outlawed sanctuary cities — does not directly prohibit sanctuary universities.
“Whether (University administrators) do that or not is a totally different question, but as you all know, the desire of the people is something that gets recorded and spread around and it has more than symbolic weight ... because laws are made and unmade,” DeGuzmán said.
chairperson of the Department of Romance Studies, said he sent an email reaffirming his department’s commitment to anti-discrimination to the chairpersons and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences two days ago — and has yet to receive a reply.
He said UNC has an anti-discrimination policy, which prohibits discrimination based on national origin, among other characteristics.