A statement on the U.S. executive order on immigration and travel

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Original statement on Waterloo News

University of Waterloo[Editor's note: This was sent out as a memo from the Office of the President to the University of Waterloo Community. Given that the information and resources contained in the memo is relevant to several different groups of people on campus, This Week at Renison felt that it was important to share.]

To:               University of Waterloo community
From:           Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor
Date:            January 30, 2017
Subject:        U.S. Executive Order on Immigration and Travel

Globally and here at home, universities are strengthened by the exchange of talent, ideas and experience from students, faculty, researchers and staff. The original principle of academic freedom encompassed thought, expression and geography. 
Diversity is a strength of this university and of our country. Together, with universities across Canada, we will continue to welcome students, faculty and staff from around the world including those seeking refuge from violence and injustice.
All of our students, faculty and staff, no matter where they come from, help to strengthen our community, bring new knowledge, talent and skills to higher education, research and innovation – to the benefit of all Canadians. At the University of Waterloo, we stand proudly for these values.     
We are actively reviewing the recent executive order from the President of the United States to understand more completely the impact for our community. The Order suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days; bans Syrian refugees indefinitely; and for 90 days blocks citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from entering the U.S.
We are reaching out to government, institutions and others as we develop a response and guidance for our campus community. We are grateful for the efforts of federal officials and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for speaking to and clarifying some of these matters. We are also supporting efforts of Universities Canada and tech sector leaders who are highlighting Canada’s strength in diversity and working to repatriate and attract talent to Canada through a variety of actions and proposals. It is important to also note the actions of our colleagues in the United States who are expressing their views through the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
We expect that there will be questions and potential issues raised for visiting academics, researchers and students who may be impacted. For these, please contact: Jeff Casello, Graduate Studies; Yannick Charbonneau, Office of General Counsel; Ray Darling, Registrar.
For students on a co-op term or contemplating one or those on an exchange, and potentially impacted, please contact: Peggy Jarvie, Co-operative Education and Career Action; Ian Rowlands, Waterloo International.
As this situation evolves we will keep our campus community updated.