Dear WCSU University Community,
Please read the most important and urgent message from President Ojakian below regarding the latest attack on our international students. As President Ojakian so eloquently states, we will stand united in our defense of our students who are studying here from overseas. Indeed, all of our students deserve the opportunity for an education which hopefully leads them to their American dream. This latest action by the administration is mean-spirited and against the very ethos of what it means to be a true American. To the international students at WCSU, please know you have my full support and that of our community.
Dr. John B. Clark
Western Connecticut State University
Dear CSCU Community,
Yesterday, the Trump administration released another pointless regulation aimed at attacking immigrant students. This time, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says that international students must participate in in-person classes in order to remain in the United States. In other words, if an institution moves to online-only education but chooses to leave residence halls open, international students would be evicted from student housing, taken away from their fellow students, and forced to finish the semester from their home country, where they may or may not have the infrastructure and resources to complete their coursework.
This is yet another harmful action from a federal administration hell-bent on attacking immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ communities, and anyone they can define as the “other.” At its best, public higher education helps provide a pathway to opportunity for people, regardless of their background or life circumstances, to realize their dreams – and by extension improve their communities. We don’t always live up to that ideal, but regulations like this only serve to make it more difficult.
International students are part of our community. They make our colleges and universities stronger. In many cases they go on to live, work, and raise a family in Connecticut. The federal administration’s decision to specifically target them is antithetical to our mission and offensive to me personally.
We will evaluate our legal options and take whatever steps possible to defend our international students.
Mark E. Ojakian