Interim President Neil Weissman wrote the following message to the Dickinson community in response to President Trump’s executive order banning immigration of refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations:
To the Dickinson Community,
I write to express Dickinson College’s deep concern over President Trump’s executive order banning immigration of refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations and over any further efforts to restrict the flow of people and ideas across our borders. Dickinson is committed to global education and to building an inclusive community. We remain firm in welcoming talented students and employees from across the globe and reject decisions based on religion or national origin.
While the current executive order affects few Dickinson students or employees, we know that the events of the past few days and their implications have unsettled many on our campus. First and foremost, we are reaching out to our international and exchange students, scholars and families to let them know we appreciate the value they bring to our campus community and to provide them with support during these times of uncertainty. More broadly, Dickinson reaffirms its commitment to global engagement and connection. For more than 50 years, we have been a leader in global education. Our program rests upon the free flow of scholars and learners between our home campus and our network of study centers around the world. For more than two decades, we have successfully pursued the goal of increasing the enrollment of international students here. These efforts are vital to who we are as an institution, the world into which our students will graduate and the respect and tolerance we expect of all members of the global community. Our efforts will continue.
We have already joined with others to share with the President and Congress our support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We have similarly encouraged our Congressional leaders to vote in favor of the bipartisan BRIDGE Act, which supports DACA. We will continue to speak out in favor of openness and inclusion.
The Dickinson College motto, authored by our namesake and “Penman of the American Revolution” John Dickinson, is the phrase “Virtue and Learning Safeguard Liberty.” In that spirit, we firmly believe that openness to people and ideas regardless of borders, rather than bans and restrictions, best serves our educational purposes—and equally safeguards the security and best interests of our nation.
Published January 30, 2017