Week of July 6, 2020

FAQ's for F-1 International Sutdents - 07.10.2020

Sent: July 10, 2020

Hello again from Carlisle – 

As promised, this email includes an FAQ addressing most of your immediate questions after Monday’s guidance release from I.C.E. This is a constantly-evolving situation, and here at CGSE and as an institution we are committed to communicating the very best we can to each of you as circumstances evolve. [CLICK HERE for website with all current communications.]

We are in the process of scheduling a live Zoom Webinar for you early next week. Details will be sent to you on Monday with how to register. In the meantime, any questions you have that were not already answered in today’s FAQ, please send them to me at hendricm@dickinson.edu with the subject heading: “CGSE Zoom Webinar.” Several members of the CGSE staff and myself will attempt to answer those questions in next week’s live webinar (or in future communications if you are unable to attend.)

I cannot fully express the outrage, sadness, and deep regret all of us here at CGSE feel about Monday’s I.C.E. guidance. We are hopeful that the advocacy work, lawsuits, and uproar the global community is making about this guidance will affect change. But no matter what happens, we need you to know that we care about you and are working tirelessly to support you in the best ways we can. Hang in there. Stay strong. We will get through this together.


Melodi, on behalf of the entire team at CGSE (Kristine, Keyana, Katie, Sam, Marissa, and Stephanie)

Melodi Hendrickson

Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Update from President

Sent: July 7, 2020

To the Dickinson community: 

I hope you are adjusting to all the dramatic changes we are experiencing, and that you are finding ways to connect with friends and loved ones in a safe and socially distant way. We continue to plan for the fall semester as announced, while also watching rising COVID-19 cases across the country and following new information on the virus that emerges daily. While our plan remains to welcome you back in the fall, we will be guided by the science and focused on community safety and providing a rigorous liberal-arts education.

Please be sure you are staying safe, washing your hands and wearing a mask. We all must do our part for the common good of others.

Campus this fall will be much different than in the past, and I will continue to remind our students, faculty and staff of that new reality. As we work through logistics of welcoming students back, we are well aware that the lives of so many of our students and parents have been deeply impacted by this pandemic, the economic fallout it has brought, and the systemic racism that is present in our society. We are committed to working with all of you to continue your education at Dickinson in a way that works for you and your life circumstances right now.

Some of you have expressed concerns about letting us know your plans for the semester by July 10, before we have worked out all the details. Please know that by sharing your current decision—whether it is to return to campus, take classes remotely or take a leave of absence—you are not making a binding decision. We are simply trying to gather as much information as possible. We also know that as information changes, your plans may change as well.

Today I will provide updates on two areas:

  • International students
  • Athletics

International Students

One of the hallmarks of a Dickinson education is its focus on global understanding and interconnectedness. The future requires leaders who can understand and tackle complex challenges with local resonance through a global lens. Our students study abroad all over the world, and we bring international students and scholars to our campus in Carlisle so that our students learn how to meaningfully engage the world. None of this is imaginable without our international students who are vital and valued members of our community.

I am deeply disappointed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has decided that international students who attend colleges that have decided to go entirely online for the fall cannot remain in the United States. Sending international students home in the middle of a pandemic is xenophobic and potentially harmful to the health and well-being of those students. It also robs our communities and our nation of the vibrancy and diversity those students bring.

We have heard from many of our international students and know that this latest decision compounds your uncertainty. We are listening to you, and we are actively protesting this guidance. In the meantime, we are considering this guidance as we make decisions about academics that could impact international students.

The Center for Global Study & Engagement will be providing more information to our international students, and we will work with those students in every way we can.


As you may be aware, Dickinson is a member of the Centennial Conference, and athletic directors and presidents have been meeting regularly for the past several months to discuss ways to manage athletic competition in the fall, including the travel to and from various campuses that competition would require. After extensive deliberations, the conference decided that, given that the health and safety of our communities is our primary goal, we must suspend athletics this fall, although we will reevaluate that decision later in the semester.

“Given health and other related concerns, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council has decided to suspend any inter-collegiate competition for sports scheduled for the fall semester,” according to the conference statement issued today. “The presidents will reevaluate this decision by the end of September, based on work to be done by the Conference to assess sports-specific activities and the experiences on the schools’ campuses.”

We will work to see if it is possible to move some fall sports to spring competition if that becomes feasible.

I know this is disappointing news for our student-athletes, their families and their many fans. The conference presidents have made this decision focused on the health and safety of our communities. We are learning more every day about this virus, but there is so much more we do not know.

The decision to suspend intercollegiate competition in the fall is consistent with our broader conviction that travel to and from campuses must be restricted in the coming months to stop the spread of the virus.

Thank you all for your continued flexibility as we navigate this unprecedented time. Working together and staying flexible, we will stay Dickinson strong.


Margee M. Ensign