Campus Report

President Decatur addresses recent executive order issued by President Trump

Office of Communications
January 30, 2017

Dear members of the Kenyon College community,

President Trump has issued an executive order suspending or blocking indefinitely entry to the country by citizens from several predominantly Muslim countries. Details on the implications of this, including the ramifications for students, faculty and staff of Kenyon, are still unclear.

Kenyon’s commitment to diversity and global engagement, including promoting connections across racial, ethnic and religious differences, go hand-in-hand with our commitment to a liberal arts education and the values of academic and artistic freedom. Contrary to the president’s assertions, walling ourselves off into an isolated bubble will not make us safe; rather, by destroying opportunities for nurturing the exchange of knowledge and understanding across borders, these policies escalate fear and suspicion and undermine the best hopes we can have for long-term peace.

We are proud to have members of our community from all over the world, including those nations targeted by the president’s executive order; we value their presence, and we will do all that we can to support them. As we learn more details, I will communicate more to all of you. In the meantime, here are actions and recommendations:

(1) Marne Ausec, Director of the Center for Global Engagement, is our primary contact on campus for these issues. We have also contacted outside legal counsel to ensure that we have the best information possible. If you have questions about your own status, please be in touch with Marne soon.

(2) As a general practice, Kenyon does not share information about the immigration status of our students. If anyone should contact you with a question about any individual student, faculty or staff member’s immigration status, or how any individual student or group of students may be impacted by these policies, please refer them to Marne Ausec and let her know about the inquiry. It is essential for the safety of our community members that we all protect their privacy. Please do not attempt to answer these questions or pass on any information in any circumstances.

(3) Jacky Neri Arias from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in conjunction with staff from the CGE, is planning a series of Common Hour discussions about these issues, both to provide information and to give space for discussion. More details will be available soon.

You will hear more from Marne, others and me as we learn more.

Yours truly,

Sean Decatur, President