President Ralph Kuncl of University of Redlands joined other colleges across the country by standing against President Trump’s executive order to ban refugees and immigrants from seven, majority Muslim, countries.
On Jan. 31, Kuncl sent an email to the Redlands students and faculty, stating clearly: “We condemn in the strongest terms any apparent targeting of groups of people based off their national heritage.”
Kuncl wrote this in reference to President Trump’s Executive Order, banning of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and the suspension of the Visa Interview Program. Suspending the Visa Interview Program means someone not of U.S. citizenship planning on leaving the U.S. and needs to apply for a new visa to return, may be less certain of their re-entry because new consular interviews will no longer be waived.
Kuncl shared his concern in the recruitment of international students to the University. According to Newsweek, nearly 5 percent of international students account for the higher-education student population and is continuously growing.
Kuncl does not stand alone in these concerns. Brown University’s President, Christina Paxton, along with 47 other university presidents, signed an open letter to Trump, stating that they want to see him “rectify the damage” caused by his actions.
Kuncl noted that the offices of International Students and Scholars, and Campus Diversity and Inclusion will reach out to international students who may personally affected by Trump’s policies, and that Human Resources may also be reaching out to affected staff, faculty and individuals. Kuncl encouraged students seeking support to take advantage of resources, such as the Deans’ offices, the Counseling Center, and the Office of Academic Success.
The email stated that students attending the University under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may be in danger in the future, but for now, the program remains intact.
Students generally appreciated Kuncl’s acknowledgement of the Executive Order and how it affects students on campus.
“I think it was valuable of him to discuss resources students have on campus if they are need of support,” said senior Brianna Wilkinson.
Sophomore Benjamin Lachelt noted that “I appreciate Kuncl’s willingness to clarify what the University’s policy is in regard to international students.”
Kuncl concluded his email by acknowledging inclusion and diversity as key values of the Redlands community.
“We stand firm in our support of underrepresented minority students and reaffirm our lawful/moral behaviors as a university,” Kuncl wrote.