Daily Egyptian

In uncertain times, SIU asks campus to ‘support and respect our international students’

(DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

(DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Luke Nozicka

The university on Monday released a statement regarding President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, saying everything legally possible will be done to support its international students.

Of the 1,263 international students at the Carbondale campus, 88 are from the seven countries listed in Trump’s executive order — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. SIU, through a statement provided by spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith, is not aware of any of these students currently traveling outside of U.S. or studying abroad in any of these countries.

The order Trump signed Friday indefinitely bars refugees from Syria and bans people traveling from those seven countries to enter the U.S. for at least 90 days.

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Goldsmith said while Trump’s executive order is temporary and under legal review, the university has heard “understandable concerns about future changes in federal policies that could negatively impact our international students.”

In a statement, interim Chancellor Brad Colwell said he shares these concerns with the campus community.

“Until new policies are proposed or implemented, we cannot predict what effect they will have,” Colwell said. “However, in the face of uncertainty, we can continue to assure all of our international students and employees that they are welcome and supported on our campus.”

Colwell said the campus will do all it legally can to support its students. He said the Center for International Education and the Center for English as a Second Language are reaching out to all of the university’s international students to invite them to a series of meetings to hear their concerns, provide support and respond to questions.

The first international student to earn a bachelor’s degree from the university, which has enrolled international students since 1947, was from Iraq, Goldsmith said. Colwell, in his statement, said this student went on to become a successful business leader.

“We believe that our more than 1,200 international students from more than 100 countries positively contribute to a campus culture that helps all of us better understand what it means to be part of a global society,” Colwell said.

Staff writer Luke Nozicka can be reached at 618-536-3325, [email protected] or on Twitter @lukenozicka.

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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