It was another controversial day in the Oval Office for President Donald Trump when he signed his most recent executive order Jan. 25 – an order that suspends all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, as well as bans entry for citizens from a number of countries (Read Trump’s executive order reaches campus for more).
After this executive order was signed, the nation – and the world – erupted into chaos and confusion. Not only does it send a negative message to those living outside the U.S., it also disrupts the process of learning and studying at many colleges and universities.
When President Trump signed this executive order, he set in motion a chain of events that rippled across the country – eventually making their way to Bradley’s campus. Nearly 20 students and a number of faculty and staff members on the Hilltop are directly affected by this decision.
It is important now more than ever to support each other as a Bradley community. That’s what Bradley President Gary Roberts and Provost Walter Zakahi aimed to do when they emailed their “Message to the Bradley University Community” Jan. 29.
The email recognized the uncertainty of President Trump’s decree and announced that Bradley would join the Association of American Universities in asking the order be ended. While this may seem like a small step to some, it is no doubt a step in the right direction.
“When any of our current students, faculty, staff, or visitors are unfairly treated or targeted by anyone, or when developments cause people from other nations to be discouraged from coming to Bradley, all of us are diminished,” the email said.
Some students were upset with the seemingly lackluster response from Bradley’s administration, but campus must understand this situation is causing anxiety amongst many community members. It has to be handled with care.
This matter does call for a measured level of concern, but fortunately, no international students or faculty were abroad at the time of the executive order. This means no Bradley campus members have been barred from re-entering the U.S.
Therefore, the university’s measure of response to the order appropriately matches the severity of the situation in regard to Bradley.
Students and parents alike are in panic after the implementation of this executive order. Members of the Bradley community shouldn’t expect the administration to do or say anything that could increase the panic many are experiencing now. By using incensed language, the only thing that will be achieved is raising that level of panic.
This statement was a starting point for Bradley, and moving forward, we are confident the administration and staff will do all they can in order to protect their community.