On Friday, January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. The order prohibits refugees from entering the U.S. for the next 120 days, and it disallows nationals of seven majority Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. for a 90-day period.
The Polytechnic has contacted the Office of Admissions and the International Services for Students and Scholars office, and is working to determine how many RPI students, faculty, and staff this order currently affects.
In response to the order, President Shirley Ann Jackson sent an email to the Rensselaer community. In it, she said that RPI is “a welcoming community that embraces the immeasurable benefits of diversity and inclusion.” Additionally, she said that RPI will be taking steps to reach out to community members who may be affected by this order, and advises them “to postpone international travel until broader travel guidance is developed.”
Vice President for Student Life Frank E. Ross III sent an email to RPI students shortly after Jackson’s; he reminded students about the Rensselaer Union’s Brave Space initiative, where they may discuss the order and other pressing issues. The next Brave Space will be in the Union Multicultural Lounge at 5 pm on Tuesday, February 7. He also encouraged students who have questions about visas to contact the International Services for Students and Scholars office at ISSSOffice@rpi.edu.
Last week, the Student Senate discussed a letter that was circulated among university student governments, which calls on President Trump to continue to issue visas to international students. As it was simply a discussion, the Senate did not make a formal response or take any official action. The Poly’s coverage of last week’s Senate meeting can be found at https://poly.rpi.edu/s/jqls4.
A rally in support of international students is planned for Wednesday, February 1 at noon. It will start at the ’86 Field and end at Monument Square in downtown Troy.