Two weeks ago, Slippery Rock University President Cheryl Norton issued a statement via email to SRU students and faculty regarding President Trump’s executive order that prohibits immigrants from certain Middle Eastern countries from entering the country for 90 days from the date of the order.
While a lot has happened since this order was issued, including a federal court freezing the order after deeming it unconstitutional, the university president’s act showed that she was willing to stand up for her personal beliefs and work to protect the students and faculty on campus who could’ve been potentially affected by the order.
In her statement, Norton said that SRU’s mission promises that every member of the Slippery Rock community is entitled to be safe, secure and comfortable during his or her time at SRU, and under no circumstance should anyone feel threatened by such a mass federal action.
In the email, Norton expanded on her thoughts by writing:
Let me assure you there will be no discrimination at SRU based on religious beliefs or national origin as targeted by this Executive Order. We continue to believe in the value a diverse campus provides in creating an exceptional learning environment. As such, we will work to protect and support that environment.
Basically, Norton said despite the greater issues happening throughout the nation, she is committed to creating a safe environment here at SRU, and she and the university take pride in the diverse community at Slippery Rock.
Along with sharing her personal thoughts, Norton added that the State System Office and legal affairs are planning to utilize outside immigration counsel to monitor the situation, and any current students that have concerns and who could be affected by the order should contact Brad Wilson, the associate provost for transformational experiences. Faculty and staff should contact Lynne Motyl, assistant vice president for human resources, if they would like to express their concerns as well.
While Trump’s order is currently frozen by federal courts, he stated on Twitter through his personal account (not the official White House-monitored POTUS account) that he intends to fight the decision and challenge the judges who ruled against the order in court. Currently, it has been reported that the White House is working hard to rewrite the order to ensure that the potential ban can make it past the circuit courts.
On campus, it is important for students to be supportive of their peers and faculty members who may be heavily affected by this shocking and devastating order. At no point should an individual feel threatened or unwelcome on campus because of the actions and statements made by the United States’ temporary Commander-in-Chief.