By KATIE WILSON
We are only ten days into the presidency of Donald J. Trump and already the incumbent has passed 13 executive orders. While every president since George Washington, aside from William Henry Harrison, has passed some form of an executive order, the rate at which Trump is passing the aforementioned orders has alarmed many. It is important to note, however, that President Obama was similarly gung-ho in passing executive orders and presidential memoranda in his first week of office.One of the more notable executive orders authorized by President Trump in the past week pertains to both immigration and the admittance of refugees into U.S. borders. Passed on Friday, January 27th, the order restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries, bars Syrian refugees for the foreseeable future, and suspends refugee admission into the United States for the next 120 days.
One of the more notable executive orders authorized by President Trump in the past week pertains to both immigration and the admittance of refugees into U.S. borders. Passed on Friday, January 27th, the order restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries, bars Syrian refugees for the foreseeable future, and suspends refugee admission into the United States for the next 120 days.
As a university that prides itself on its diversity, as well as its numbers of international students, it is no surprise that this executive order has hit close to home for St. Lawrence. Many students have recently expressed discontent about the order, and international students are fearful for what is to come. It is thus no surprise that our dear President Fox had a few choice words to say about the order in his most recent email to the student body.
In the email, President Fox emphasizes the inclusive nature of SLU throughout history, and he details how St. Lawrence has always strived to be an open community for international scholars. President Fox does not incite students to become anarchists; rather, he stresses that St. Lawrence will continue to abide by the laws of our nation while simultaneously being as accepting as we have been in years past.
Furthermore, President Fox draws attention to our close proximity to the Canadian border, as we are the closest private school to an international border in the U.S. As such, President Fox states that we inherently have a duty to uphold our aforementioned standards of acceptance and inclusivity.
While the policies of our university have little effect on the affairs of our nation as a whole, they do have a resounding impact on students of international heritage who seek higher learning at our institution. While President Fox recognizes this in his email, he also offers assurance for those who are worried about the effects that President Trump’s recent actions may have on the St. Lawrence community. He writes, “We are, therefore, committed at this university to protect not only the rights of speech that are so precious to the integrity of learning, but also to protect the rights of belonging to this community regardless of one’s place of birth.”
While we may be a small liberal arts college nestled in the upper recesses of New York State, the majority of both the administration and the student body are committed to protecting our fellow student, regardless of their place of birth.
In the same vein, our university’s commitment to open conversation holds true in this sensitive time; there will be open forums for discussion of the order, and others like it, in the coming weeks. If you are unable to attend these, concerns can be forwarded to the Student Life Office via email.