The universities and colleges here in Delaware have offered a mixed approach to the Muslim ban that’s dominated so much of the recent global discussion. In the tech community, companies like Google and Airbnb have taken stances on the ban, in most cases by offering support in their own way.
The Muslim ban is having an impact on the tech industry, and how Delaware’s higher education institutions are handling the decision sets the tone for the academic community in the state.
We decided to gather what’s been said and (perhaps more importantly) not been said by each institution following the executive order.
The University of Delaware is one of two institutions in the state to issue a clear and concise statement. We reached out for comment from the university, but we were met with a simple point towards the official statement. In that statement, issued on Sunday, UD advises those who may be affected, regardless of their residence status, to postpone travel until more is learned about the executive order and its ramifications.
The school goes on to say that it’s “a global academic community dedicated to educational and societal advancement.” While the letter doesn’t go so far as to criticize Trump’s immigration order, the subtext is clear: we welcome immigrants, it says.
From the letter:
As an engaged learning community, we will only succeed and thrive in a culture that is united by values and distinguished by the interconnected relationship of opportunity, leadership, respect and diversity. To this point, the talent, insight, and perspectives of our international students, faculty, researchers, and staff remain essential ingredients of our community to which we are wholly committed. We welcome the most qualified and talented individuals from around the world to study, teach, and carry out research and scholarship at the University of Delaware.
The other institution with an official statement is Widener University, which connects to Delaware through its Delaware Law School in Wilmington. On Monday, President Julie E. Wollman offered a reassertion to the school’s “commitment to the principle that ‘We’re All Widener.'”
As we welcome all voices, one thing is certain: Widener University does not and will never tolerate discrimination towards any individual or group and is committed to the safety of all our students, faculty and staff.
It’s announced in that same statement that Widener will host an event featuring Elise Fialkowski, a leading immigration attorney, to discuss “pathways to permanent residence and the impact of the executive order.”
Those statements are what the state’s institutions have to offer right now. Delaware State University, Wesley, Delaware Tech, Wilmington University and the Delaware College of Art and Design remain silent.-30-
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