ECU chancellor advises foreign nationals at university against leaving U.S. due to exec order

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University chancellor Cecil Staton released a statement Monday regarding President Donald Trump’s immigration order over the weekend.

Of the 20 individuals at East Carolina University affected by the order, only one is a student. Vice provost Christopher Locklear said the university administration will do what it can for those who may not be able to go home during scheduled breaks due to the order.

“We certainly would seek to service those students for the time they are on campus if that became an issue of housing or dining services; if they needed additional support,” said Locklear.

Those impacted have already received emails from the dean reminding them there are offices available for support.

Locklear says it’s still early, and the university wants to reaffirm its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The statement from chancellor Cecil Staton reads as follows:

To the ECU Community:

Many questions and concerns have arisen as a result of the Jan. 27 Executive Order that temporarily impacts citizens, including visa and green card holders, of seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen – from entering the United States. The order also directed the U.S. Secretary of State to suspend the refugee admission program for 120 days and to suspend all refugee processing of Syrian nationals.

As a large, research university with students and faculty members from around the world on our campus, we know the value of having fellow citizens of the world beside us in our classroom and in our labs and clinics. They are an essential part of our campus, and our university is enriched by having them here. I want to offer my personal support for all of our international students and colleagues.

While the exact impact of the Executive Order on our campus is still being evaluated today, our review indicates that fewer than 20 members of the ECU community (faculty/staff/students) could be directly affected. At this time, we would advise students and employees who are nationals of the countries identified in the order to refrain from traveling outside the United States.

We will continue to work with our colleagues in the UNC system and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, along with federal and state representatives in monitoring and evaluating the implications from this decision. We will update the university community as more information becomes available.

If you are directly affected by the Executive Order, please let us know if you need assistance and we will do our best to help you. If you have concerns or questions, university resources stand ready to offer guidance. If you are a student, contact the Office of Global Affairs (Dr. Jon Rezek LINK: rezekjo17@ecu.edu ) and the Dean of Students office (Dr. Lynn Roeder LINK: roederl@ecu.edu ); and for employees, contact the director of Immigration Services (Brian Meyerhoeffer LINK: meyerhoefferb@ecu.edu). For more information, you may also wish to review the following statements from the UNC system (http://northcarolina.edu/content/statement-jan-27-exec-order) and APLU (http://www.aplu.org/news-and-media/News/aplu-statement-on-trump-administrations-new-order-temporarily-banning-citizens-of-seven-countries-from-entering-us).

In closing, I want to stress that we value all members of the university community and extend our support to international faculty, students and staff. We are committed to a diverse, inclusive campus. The East Carolina University tapestry is enriched by what each of us brings to the whole.

Sincerely, Chancellor Cecil Staton

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