The administration and student government association at the University of Tennessee are known for supporting polarizing agendas within statements in the past such as making sure holiday parties are not really Christmas parties in disguise, supporting grammatically incorrect gender neutral pronouns, or dragging their feet on opposing the destruction of an America flag on campus.
After President Trump enacted an executive order temporarily stopping new immigrants for 90 days from seven middle eastern countries, the administration at UTK did not sway in their accustomed conduct.
University of Tennessee outgoing Chancellor issued a statement saying the university is staying committed diversity, inclusion, and civility as well as focusing on the idea that students should,
“take this opportunity to reach out to your fellow Volunteers, especially those who may be feeling uncertain or fearful, and help ensure that our campus is a welcoming community for everyone.
Chancellor Cheek also stressed in his letter to the university that the Center for International Education will be working towards:
- understanding the executive order better
- talking to students, faculty, and family of visa holders from these countries
- answering questions about travel plans of students
- how this order will affect families abroad
If students need any “additional support” due to “anxiety and confusion,” they can contact the Dean of Students office. There, students will be sent to “one-on-one” counseling sessions in order to cope with their emotional distress due to the immigration policy.
You can read the full response here.
Student Government Response
The Student Government Association also has released a statement directed towards “concerned, scared, or uncertain” students. The organization stated that the university:
“benefits immensely from a community comprised of diverse nations, backgrounds, and faiths, including thos affected by the executive order.”
They pledge to not “stand idle while Vols suffer” in this difficult and uncertain time.
The SGA will be hosting an open town hall for students to ask questions and communicate about the immigration policy.
What this executive order really means is that noncitizens from these seven countries will not be able to directly travel to the United States within the next 90 days. The secretary of state and secretary of homeland security will be in charge of revamping the vetting process for visas. This is due to security concerns of immigrants from countries known for harboring terrorists as defined by the Obama administration.
There is no and has never been any right for foreign noncitizens to be able to travel to the United States. Currently approved visa holders in the country have inalienable rights under their visa which means they cannot be indefinitely detained, however, according to the Supreme Court, they can be deported for any reason.