The leaders of the Dayton region’s two largest universities reinforced their commitment to international students and faculty in the aftermath of President Donald J. Trump’s executive order that temporarily halts admission of refugees into the United States and citizens of seven countries in the Middle East.
University of Dayton President Eric Spina issued a statement today reinforcing the university’s support of Muslim students and staff and encouraged students “to grow in their understanding of their religious beliefs and faith traditions.”
“We treasure our Muslim students, faculty and staff and respect their religious beliefs and freedom to practice their religion,” the statement added. “They are a valued part of the rich diversity of our campus community, and we pledge to do all we can now, and in the future, to welcome students of different religious, ethnic or racial backgrounds and respect their dignity.
“As part of our Catholic tradition, we respect the human rights of all people, particularly those who are most vulnerable, such as refugees. Yesterday, Bishop (Joe) Vásquez, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, stated, “We strongly disagree with the executive order’s halting refugee admissions. We believe that now, more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope.”
Wright State University President David R. Hopkins said in a statement distributed to Wright State students and staff, the university was working “to identify students, faculty, and staff currently traveling aboard and, to the best of our ability, help facilitate their safe return.”
He also said anyone who plans to travel outside the country and is from one of the seven nations impacted in the executive order — Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen — should contact the University Center for International Education on campus.
Hopkins urged those on campus to read the order.
“Right now, I worry about what this may mean to our Wright State community,” he wrote. “These are our students, faculty, alumni, and their family members. These are our friends.”
Wright State will offer support to those impacted by the order, he said. “I encourage all members of our community to look out for and do what you can for those at Wright State who are being affected,” the university president wrote.
“Be assured that Wright State will remain a welcoming and inclusive place for people of all backgrounds, nationalities, and faiths,” Hopkins added. “A diverse campus is an essential part of a vibrant place of learning and discovery.”
“… From students to faculty to alumni to staff, people from around the globe have made our university and our world a better place,” he said.
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