A seven-country ban established by President Trump’s controversial executive order might feel worlds away, but the campus community is still responding in turn.
After the weekend of the 27th, word of the executive order spread like wildfire. Some may have wandered into the Campus Center Courtyard and seen chalkings reminiscent of those throughout campus after the election this past November. One such chalking, sprawled out in large blue letters read, “BELIEVE IN A BETTER FUTURE, WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS.”
Shortly after news broke of detained travelers in transit, followed by protests across the nation, Whittier College President Sharon Herzberger sent a campus-wide e-mail responding to worries that the ban might affect students, faculty and staff in the near future.
The e-mail specifically states that no Whittier College students currently on our campus are from the seven countries; Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.
President Herzberger also responded with how the travel ban conflicts with the College’s mission. “Whittier is committed to upholding the values in which we were established,” President Herzberger said. “Which is to embrace diversity of all kinds, and ensuring our campus provides an environment that welcomes people from all backgrounds and countries.”
Director of the Office of International Programs Andrew Wallis confirmed that to his knowledge, no students travelling internationally were put at risk with the ban. Wallis applauded President Herzberger’s message to the campus body. The Office of International Programs plans to communicate with students who may be affected by any potential extension of a travel ban moving forward.
President Herzberger urges students to be proactive on the issues of immigration and to keep up to date on the facts in the coming days. “Keeping informed is key since the policy is changing, sometimes rapidly,” Herzberger said. “We will continue to invite people from all over the world to join our community and I hope we can present the best possible welcome.”
Last Friday, the travel ban was challenged in a Seattle lower-court, and has since moved to a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.