The executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, instituting a 90-day ban on admitting citizens of Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States, has the potential to negatively affect our Ithaca College community and, conceivably, the entire higher education community. I join with academic leaders from across the country in expressing my concerns about the impact this executive order will have on the members of our campus community.
As a result of this executive order we have students, faculty, and staff at IC who are particularly vulnerable, and many who are fearful of what the future may hold for them or their friends and loved ones. For this reason, I am outlining at the end of this message the steps we have taken and will be taking in the days ahead to support our campus community, especially our international students and faculty. Additional efforts and resources are being planned, and will be shared with you as soon as they are confirmed.
Our mission statement commits to “attracting a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff” and encourages everyone to “achieve excellence in their chosen fields and to share the responsibilities of citizenship and service in the global community.” This commitment does not change when the political or social tenor of our country changes. It is an expression of who we have been as a community and who we will continue to be.
In order to stay true to our mission, and true to our character as an institution, Ithaca College must remain an inclusive community that opposes discrimination in any form; actively supports and benefits from diversity; welcomes international students and scholars to our campus; draws upon the vast body of knowledge and innovation generated by international scholars in the U.S. and abroad; and ensures that our students can be fully engaged, global citizens, both during their time at IC and during the lives they lead after graduation.
The details of how the executive order will be implemented continue to be highly fluid, and Ithaca College is watching the situation closely so that we can offer the most informed assistance possible to our community. I intend also to advocate for governmental policies on immigration that foster rather than inhibit the free flow of scholars and students across international borders.
At this uncertain time, the college unequivocally stands behind its core commitment to educational and inclusive excellence. Ithaca College is a deeply caring community, and I hope that each of us offers support to one another at this time of heightened anxiety and concern. Our strength as a community is directly tied to how we support one another during such times of uncertainty and upheaval.
Thomas R. Rochon
Our International Community
- The college has been working since Saturday to confirm who from our campus community may be affected by the executive order. We can confirm that all affected students are currently in the United States. We believe that all of our affected faculty are in the United States and hope to have this confirmation very soon.
- The Office of International Programs and Extended Studies (OIPES) has been in close contact with the international students who may be affected by the executive order. As the situation evolves, this office will remain the hub of support, information, and resources for all of our international students.
- We are advising our community members from the seven currently named countries under the executive order to avoid travel outside the United States until the uncertainty around the executive order is clarified.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a state hotline to assist immigrants affected by the order. The phone number is 1-888-769-7243.
Travel and Immigration
- The dean of each school is working to confirm faculty members who may be traveling abroad for research, conferences, or other professional activities.
- If you are planning to travel abroad for personal or college-related business, the college advises you to add your name to the Ithaca College Travel Registry. This registry is ordinarily meant for traveling on college business, but because of the current circumstances, we are extending it to faculty, staff, and students conducting any sort of travel. We encourage students traveling abroad for Spring Break to register with this service.
- Ithaca College provides a travel assistance program to students, faculty, and staff traveling on international college business. The college’s vendor, UnitedHealthcare Global, provides emergency evacuation assistance, medical referrals worldwide, and travel assistance in emergency situations. Sign up through Ithaca’s travel registry and carry the UnitedHealthcare Global ID card with you when you travel.
- Faculty or staff who have immigration questions or concerns can directly contact Brian Dickens, vice president for human resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his office will facilitate assistance.
- We are currently working with OIPES to plan a public informational session about immigration law and policy. We will keep you informed as details are finalized.
Support and Safety on Campus
- The college has a longstanding commitment to protecting the confidentiality of student and employee information, as well as information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. Further, the Office of Public Safety does not participate in the enforcement of immigration law. Our commitment to these principles and policies will remain steadfast.
- Students who reside on campus and who cannot travel for any reason over Spring Break may stay in campus housing at no additional charge. This includes students who are concerned about immigration.
- OIPES has a longstanding tradition of weekly support and discussion sessions for IC’s international students. These sessions will, of course, continue during this difficult time.
- For counseling support, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services is available for students, and the Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff.
- The college’s interfaith chaplains are also available to speak with students, staff, and faculty.
- To report a threat, harassment, or a bias-related incident, you may contact the Office of Public Safety at 607-274-3333, and your report will be investigated. Additional information for reporting bias-related incidents is available online.