Drexel Support for International Students, Faculty and Professional Staff
January 29, 2017
The President's Jan. 27 executive order suspending entry into the U.S. for refugees, immigrants and non-immigrants from certain countries stands as a major challenge to the nation's colleges and universities. I want to assure the Drexel University community that we are prepared to support our international students, faculty, and professional staff by every possible means.
The chaotic implementation of the presidential order over this weekend - with key provisions modified, and others halted by federal judges on Saturday - has only intensified our shared concerns. As evidenced by statements issued across the landscape of American higher education, such a blanket ban is antithetical to many of the values we cherish. Drexel believes in inclusion and equality, and we are committed to celebrating and recognizing the fruits of diversity and global engagement.
We also know that some of our students and colleagues not only are anxious about the impact of this order on their lives, studies and research, but are also shaken and hurt, knowing that this country has singled them out - and their families, home countries, religions, and the like - for seemingly discriminatory treatment. They may be unable to travel home in an emergency. And they may well be feeling isolated, as family members are prohibited from visiting from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
For now, the most practical consideration, and our best advice, is that international students and scholars from any affected nation defer any planned travel outside the country until the situation can be clarified. We encourage all those potentially affected to check with Drexel's International Students and Scholars Services for updated information and advice on any travel plans, as University officials will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Drexel's global ties are integral to our mission, whether in educating international students here on campus, placing Drexel undergraduates in career-making co-ops with overseas companies, or creating new knowledge through research partnerships that span continents. We will do everything possible to preserve these critical relationships, and to safeguard the students, faculty, and professional staff who are at the heart of what we do. These members of the Drexel community have our strongest backing. In support of them, I have joined my academic colleagues nationwide in petitioning the President to reconsider this executive order.
John A. Fry