Robert A. Brown, President Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Willis G. Wang, Vice President and Associate Provost for Global Programs
To Members of the Boston University Community:
As you have heard, the President of the United States has issued an Executive Order that impacts the issuance of visas and immediately suspends the entry into the United States by individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days.
We believe this Executive Order is fundamentally inconsistent with the values that are the bedrock of Boston University and, indeed, of our pluralistic, welcoming society. The Executive Order diminishes our nation as a beacon for freedom and opportunity. As an academic community, we must stand together to support each other at this time of uncertainty and use a clear voice to affirm our principles and voice our deep concern.
Because of our concern about how this Executive Order will affect members of our community, the International Students & Scholars Office, ISSO, has been reaching out to all students, scholars, and faculty who we believe may be directly affected. Any international student or scholar who has questions or concerns should contact the ISSO.
Importantly, for those from the countries listed above, regardless of one’s non-immigrant classification, we advise against travel outside of the United States at this time, as it places one at risk of not being readmitted to the US.
Global Programs is monitoring emerging developments closely and will update our community on any changes in laws and practices that relate to international students and scholars as well as undocumented students. This week, Global Programs, in partnership with the Dean of Students office, will be holding a town meeting at which ISSO, other University staff, and additional immigration experts will be present to answer questions from our community. Please watch for an announcement of the time and place at BU Today.
The situation is extremely fluid, as is clear from the restraining order issued by Boston federal court early Sunday morning, which halts certain actions of the Executive Order for 7 days. We will keep the community apprised of further federal actions that impact our students, faculty, and staff.
Provost Jean Morrison & President Bob Brown
We are reaching out to you in the wake of the extraordinary and contentious presidential election that took place earlier this month in the United States. The results, as you are likely aware, have generated serious concern among many of our citizens and communities, because of the divisive and alarming language from the campaign that is still echoing around the country and the world. We want to reassure you that Boston University remains a steadfastly inclusive and safe community. As a student, you will always be welcome here, no matter your race, ethnicity, gender identification, sexuality, disability, religion, or national origin.
We will never tolerate nor stand for prejudice, bigotry, or hatred of any kind, subtle or overt. Important conversations and discussions, formal and informal, have been taking place on campus since the presidential campaign began in an ongoing effort to foster greater understanding between differing viewpoints. That free, safe, and civil exchange of ideas and points-of-view is one of the cornerstones of the Boston University community, along with the embrace of diversity and robust global engagement.
Each year, we welcome to Boston University thousands of international students from around the world. Just as our campus remained a welcoming and open place in the aftermath of the devastating terrorist attacks in September 2001, it is even more so today. In fact, we recognized early in our history the importance of understanding the worlds’ cultures and societies and as a result, Boston University was one of the first universities in the United States to send students to live and study abroad. Every semester, thousands of BU students take advantage of the opportunity to study in, and learn about other cultures outside of their own.
As President Robert A. Brown stated in his letter to the community in the immediate aftermath of the election: “Like our country, Boston University will flourish if we adhere to the enduring principles that have defined our community for 150 years: respect for all people and their right to free expression, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for reasoned arguments and scientific findings. Finally, the strength of our community also depends on our commitment to civility in debate and discussion which can lead to mutual understanding.”
Boston University was founded as a beacon of freedom. We are proud of this heritage, now more than ever. We welcome and encourage you to join us in building an even stronger, more vibrant and just society.
If you have any questions, concerns or want to learn more about Boston University, please contact Laurie Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Graduate Affairs Office at (617) 353-3481.