By THE BLUE & GRAY PRESS STAFF
On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, also barring Syrian refugees indefinitely.
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, University of Mary Washington Dr. Troy Paino issued a statement to the community assuring the support of the university in protecting international students affected by the order. In his statement, Paino says “Regardless of background, faith, nationality, identity or political perspective, all members of our UMW community are valued and help to make Mary Washington the inclusive, vibrant and intellectually engaging community that it is.”
We at The Blue & Gray Press are in full support of President Paino’s statement in support of those affected by President Trump’s executive order. We commend President Paino on his message and back all students, faculty and staff. While our student population is not known for its diversity, those who are affected by the order have the right to continue their education in a safe space and we believe that UMW is that place.
Based on demonstrations on campus and protests participated in by students, the majority of UMW students are not in support of President Trump’s executive order, despite many of them not directly affected by the travel ban. This support of our fellow students is to be looked upon with great pride and respect, regardless of political stance. We are proud to be a part of such a supportive community.
As community members of this great institution and as American citizens, we are disheartened to see that a country founded and built by immigrants and whose history shows a proud commitment to accepting all people has fallen to this level of intolerance, freedom and human rights. We hope that at the end of these 120 days, peace can be found and faith restored in our country’s leaders.
Mary Washington has provided a home for all of us in which we have been able to both develop and express ourselves as students and as human beings. For this, we are grateful. Now more than ever, it is important that students, faculty and staff alike feel the reassurance that they will be supported, protected and defended at all costs by a university whose essential values include commitment to a diverse and safe community for all.