IUPUI students pushing for "sanctuary campus"

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - IUPUI students walked out of class this afternoon in hopes their university will become a "sanctuary campus."

They've written a letter to the chancellor, concerned that undocumented students, staff and family members would face imminent deportation under a Donald Trump presidency.

Close to 100 students gathered on campus and marched to the chancellor's office to deliver their message. They presented him with a petition to create a sanctuary campus - which means clear protection not only for undocumented students and staff, but for all minorities.

Chanting, "No hate in our state," the students carried signs as they marched across campus. Their goal is to protect fellow students from feeling threatened by others amid an uptick in harassment incidents involving minorities across the United States following the election.

The initiative at IUPUI is part of a nationwide effort by university students calling for sanctuary campuses in reaction to the rhetoric from the Donald Trump campaign and his pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

The students we spoke to said they were motivated by flyers distributed around the IUPUI campus that they say espouses hate speech. They're asking the chancellor to ensure that the university takes action to protect all students and staff.

"IUPUI is a welcoming community and we're trying to tell that to all minorities. We are not here for any political reasons. Just to tell IUPUI, Indiana that we are a welcoming community and that Indiana's a welcoming state and that's all we want," said IUPUI sophomore Hector Morales.

The chancellor accepted the students' petition and said he takes it seriously, and that he'll let them know soon what action he plans to take.

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