Following the example of several other universities across the nation, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter released a statement Sunday regarding recent executive action orders from President Donald Trump.
The statement said little about the university’s plans to handle Trump’s ban on admitting refugees and citizens of several predominately Muslim countries. Instead, Vitter’s statement said the university was still “gathering information and evaluating the impact of executive orders.” The statement instructed students and faculty who feel unsafe to contact the Office of International Programs.
Similar statements were released over the weekend from Yale, Stanford University, MIT and many other universities. Some, like the email sent to all students at Chapman University, recommended students from affected areas who are currently outside of the country return as soon as possible and recommended those inside the country not leave.
Students studying abroad who have visas or green cards have been denied reentry to the US, according to an article published by The Guardian. Currently, however, there are no programs listed in affected countries on the university’s study abroad website.
According to the Institute of International Education, there are more than 17,000 students from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, the countries affected by the executive order, currently studying at American schools. According to the most recent report from the university’s Institutional, Research, Effectiveness and Planning, there are no undergraduate students on campus from these countries, but there are more than 20 students enrolled in graduate programs who are from countries affected by the ban. This data is for the 2014-2015 school year, however; no more recent data is currently available.
See the full text of Vitter’s statement here:
Please read this important statement from Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter regarding recent Presidential Executive Orders.
As a public international research institution of higher education, the University of Mississippi is focused upon education and the success of our students in a global society. We are a community of scholars committed to fostering a diverse environment, and we benefit greatly from a strong international and multicultural presence.
One of our top priorities is a safe and welcoming environment for all our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. However, we recognize that for many in our community, there is significant anxiety, fear, and uncertainty related to recent Presidential Executive Orders.
We are currently gathering information and evaluating the impact of the executive orders upon members of our university community. If you believe you are affected, or are uncertain about whether these orders affect you, please contact the Office of International Programs.
We value all members of our university community and extend our support to our international students, faculty, and staff during this uncertain time. We call upon all members of our community to support one another. We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and keep the university community updated as more information becomes available.
Jeffrey S. Vitter