President Alison Byerly sent the following message to the campus community on Jan. 29, 2017.
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
I know that many are concerned about the possible impact on our community of the Executive Order announced by President Trump on Friday, which bans immigrants from seven countries from entering the United States, or re-entering if they are U.S. residents traveling abroad. Although a federal judge issued an emergency order late yesterday that bars deportation of travelers currently in transit, or those with valid visas, concerns remain.
We have confirmed that no Lafayette students who might be affected by the travel ban are currently studying abroad or have immediate plans to travel. Chaplain Alex Hendrickson has also been in touch with Muslim students, and Provost Abu Rizvi will be meeting with them tomorrow. I know that a range of groups and organizations on campus will also be seeking ways to show their support.
Amidst nationwide protests involving people and politicians from both political parties, several thousand academics have signed a petition calling on President Trump to reconsider this executive order, stating that such “unethical and discriminatory treatment of law-abiding, hard-working and well-integrated immigrants” is “detrimental to the national interests of the United States.” I have signed this petition.
As a proud citizen of a country that has long stood as a beacon of hope and freedom across the world, as a Pennsylvania-born resident of a state whose cultural and educational institutions are deeply rooted in traditions of religious tolerance, and as the leader of a college that is named after a foreign-born patriot who risked his life for the cause of liberty in America, I deplore actions that threaten to undermine principles that I cherish.
While political views across our extended community no doubt differ, I hope that we all share a commitment to supporting the rights of students who have come to Lafayette in pursuit of education, and faculty and staff who are committed to helping to provide that education, whatever their religion or nation of origin. My thanks to all of you for your support of our community during this time.
President Alison Byerly