NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Dr. Joseph Nyre issued a statement to Members of the Campus Community o January 31, 2017 on the topic of President Trump’s controversial Executive Order barring immigrants from seven countries.
Last week I wrote to you, concerned about recent government actions and their impact on our students, faculty, staff and alumni. In this tumultuous political environment, it is challenging for us to grapple with all of the implications of the executive orders issued by President Trump in the last week. It is clear that while we certainly wish our nation to be safe, the executive order banning the entry into the United States of citizens from seven countries, suspending the refugee program for 120 days, and halving the number of refugees the United States accepts is in opposition to our identity as an institution in the tradition of American Catholic Higher Education. We reaffirm our commitment to foster intellectual inquiry, community engagement, and an appreciation for diversity. As I wrote you last week: “We are Iona College. We stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion of ALL students. We embrace our: mission, vision, and values; our Blessed Edmund Rice charism; and, our Statement on Diversity. We stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion of ALL students.”
Since I wrote you, the College has been actively working to identify students, faculty and staff directly impacted as well as those who may be concerned that their country of origin may eventually be included in this or another similar action. Direct outreach to our Student Government Association, international students and the engagement of our Committee on Diversity have been actively underway with a primary focus on ensuring everyone in our community feels welcome, safe and heard.
In addition, Iona College supported the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) November 30 statement to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. I am currently attending the ACCU meeting in Washington, D.C., and have been involved in ongoing dialogue with a number of other Catholic institutions and organizations about how best to support our students and faculty and fulfill our mission. We will continue to engage our campus community and our New Rochelle community to support all people, of all origins. Our country and indeed our Iona community have benefited from a rich history of immigration.
We are Iona College. We are a College founded by the congregation of Christian Brothers in 1940 with a history of serving all who come to us, particularly the sons and daughters of New York immigrants, the poor and the marginalized. This remains at the heart of who we are and the foundation of our beloved College. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those impacted directly, indirectly and spiritually at this time.
May God Bless You
Dr. Joseph Nyre