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President Martin's message on the recent executive order restricting immigration and travel

January 31, 2017

Drake University President Marty Martin sent the following message to campus this morning, regarding the recent executive order restricting immigration and travel:

Good morning,

Responsible global citizenship is one of the defining features of the Drake University mission and celebrating the diversity among us is at the core of our institutional principles. We seek to create a community where shared purpose transcends difference and respect for human dignity transcends conflict.

We infuse global and intercultural learning and understanding throughout the Drake experience. Over the years, Drake has been the academic home to thousands of international students and has proudly employed faculty and staff from around the world. Our campus is enriched because of the diversity of political views, faith traditions, interests, and perspectives represented and expressed by our international students and employees. Our University grows stronger as we realize the many gifts that come from being a part of the global community.

In light of President Trump’s recent executive order restricting entry into the United States for citizens from seven predominately Muslim nations, I want to reaffirm the stance this University took in November. We are and will be “a place of refuge or safety” — our chosen definition of “sanctuary” — for all of our students, faculty, and staff. We will do all that we can, within the framework of the law, to defend our students’ and employees’ rights. We will protect private information. We will provide programming and education regarding immigrants’ rights. We will continue to advocate for our government’s policies to align with our nation’s best aspirations for equity, opportunity, and inclusion.

No one knows exactly how our immigration policies will evolve in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We will keep a close eye on how any such changes may affect members of our community and communicate regarding those changes as the need arises. Presently, any students with immigration-related questions or concerns should contact the Drake International department (271-2084). If a faculty or staff member has an immigration-related issue, please contact Human Resources (271-4804). Also, confidential counseling services are available at no cost for students via the Counseling Center (271-3864), and for faculty and staff through the Employee Assistance Program (800-327-4692).

A follow-up email message with additional guidance will be sent shortly to students, and simultaneously shared with faculty and staff. We also intend to make a detailed Q&A available online soon. That on-line resource will be updated in the days and weeks ahead, as necessary.

Our best way forward is to continually affirm our essential values and to behave accordingly. Extending kindness to each other and to all others we come in contact with is a powerful antidote to any efforts to sow dissension or hostility. The more welcoming and inclusive we are, the stronger we become – the more empowered we are to meet our challenges and to seize our opportunities.

Sincerely,

Marty Martin, President
Drake University