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Travel ban impacts UW System

Laura Dickinson

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University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross released a statement to the UW System Schools in regards to President Trump’s Executive Order banning travel from seven countries which could affect international students and faculty from the travel banned countries.

In a statement sent out to UW Oshkosh students, Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said the university does not believe the travel ban affects entry for any students, faculty or staff at UWO.

“I feel it is important to highlight the long-standing commitment UW Oshkosh has to a rich and global community,” Leavitt said. “Our University and this entire region and state are stronger because of the students, faculty and staff who have come from places around the world to learn, work and live here.”

UWO student and member of the UWO Muslim Student Association Jamal Arafeh said he believes the ban is irrational.

“I think this is a crazy order in my opinion,” Arafeh said. “He basically banned families, children, men and women from entering, and they had came here to start a new life. I want to ask Trump a question: if my country banned all Christians from entering, how would that make him feel? It’s the same feeling we have as Muslims.”

Arafeh said the UWO MSA is working to make students aware of the misconceptions and mistaken beliefs of Islam and bring awareness of the effects of the travel ban.

“We are trying to put to rest wrong ideas about what Trump is trying to take ahold of,” Arafeh said. “We just want people to know these people from these countries just want a new life. They sold their homes and sold everything they had just to come here for a new life.”

MSA’s next meeting will be today on the second floor of Polk Library in the large study group room.

Cross said, in a statement during the uncertainty surrounding the travel ban, the UW System suggests limited travel for international student and faculty from the banned countries.

“Students or faculty from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen should not travel outside the United States in the next 90 days, as your entry visa may be deemed ineligible and you may not be able to return to the U.S.,” Cross said. “Please make any friends and family members from these countries aware of this restriction as well, and encourage them to refrain from traveling to the U.S. during these 90 days.”

Cross said, the ban does concern approximately 130 students system wide. However, at this time, we do not know what the future of the order will be.

“We do not currently know what the situation will be when these 90 days expire, but the UW System will continue to carefully monitor this situation and provide you with updates as we get them,” Cross said.

UWO Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Support of Inclusive Excellence Sylvia Carey-Butler said during this time it is important to remember we benefit as a school together.

“We are better because of diversity,” Carey-Butler said. “Whether it’s because of ethnicity or nationality, our communities are better when they take care of each other.”

Carey-Butler said there are faculty and staff who are concerned about students who might be affected and are wanting to come together to have a town hall meeting.
“There will be a town hall that isn’t necessarily about what has brought us to this, but to show that everyone does matter here,” Carey-Butler said.

The date for the town hall meeting has yet to be determined.

Arafeh said he hopes the Oshkosh community can come together.

“I think many people in the community are involved about this issue,” Arafeh said. “I believe this is a decision that is not well-studied, and we can benefit from discussion with each other.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Travel ban impacts UW System