President Trump’s recent executive order bans immigrants and nonimmigrant visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iraq, Syria,
Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – from entering the United States. While we
do not currently have any students, faculty or staff from the countries named in the
recent executive order, many international students are anxious that the list could
expand, and our Muslim students are concerned about the executive order’s focus on
predominantly Muslim countries of origin.
Illinois Wesleyan University remains strongly committed to providing a supportive
environment in which each of our students can become confident, participatory members
of a global society. We define ourselves as a diverse, inclusive and welcoming campus,
with the understanding that education in the context of diversity – whether diversity
of nationality, race, religion or thought – creates the richest learning environment.
We respect and value our fellow students, educators and staff across geographic and
cultural boundaries, and stand with institutions of higher learning throughout the
country in insisting that it is critical that the United States continues to welcome
scholars of all backgrounds and nationalities.
Illinois Wesleyan University policy protects against discrimination on the basis of
age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin in our
admissions policies, educational programs and activities, and employment policies.
Student records are subject to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protection. Immigration/citizenship status is not listed as part of our directory information and is not
released without a student’s permission, unless there is proper legal authority such
as a subpoena or court order.
We will continue to work to help our governing officials understand the important
value that international students, faculty and staff contribute to our campus, the
economy, and our shared community. This work has been made more urgent by the recent
executive order, but is also part of a larger concern for our community. As part of
that broader effort, I joined hundreds of university presidents nationwide in signing
the Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
and Undocumented Immigrant Students, and support bipartisan legislation, introduced early this month by Senator
Durbin (D-IL), that would provide temporary relief from deportation and employment
authorization to individuals who are eligible for the Department of Homeland Security’s
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
As you contemplate ways in which you might show support to members of our community,
please consider the following:
Provide a listening ear and genuine friendship across cultures and experiences.
Say something if you hear or witness intolerance in our community. Speak out. Don’t
be a bystander.
Report occurrences on campus that deserve administrative intervention or attention
to the Dean of Students or the Provost. I’ve asked them to keep me informed of any
complaints or concerns
Refer students to the support sessions being offered by the International Office.
As a community, I encourage you to stay informed and active in supporting your ideas
and beliefs. While we may not all agree, civil civic engagement is critical to our
success as a community - local, state, regional and national.