University Responds to POTUS Executive Order


February 2nd, 2017

(Faculty and staff gather outside the Milo Bail Student center on campus at UNO. (Photo by Brandon McDermott)

Reaction to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order, banning entry for people from seven majority Muslim countries, has hit the heartland. The University of Nebraska president Hank Bounds released a statement calling the executive order “disturbing and disruptive.” KVNO’s Brandon McDermott talks to an administrator at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in charge of international enrollment to discuss this topic of conversation.

Omaha, NE – President Donald Trump’s day’s old executive order, some are referring to as the “Muslim Ban,” suspends U.S. refugee admissions for 120 days.

It also suspends the programs which allow entry of Syrian refugees “indefinitely” and prohibits entry to the Unites States from seven countries which are majority-Muslim. Looking closer at the document, it gives priority to Christian refugees over Muslims as well as lowering the total number of refugees which will be accepted from any country this year.

(Photo by Brandon McDermott)

The backlash from this has resulted in thousands of Americans protesting at airports and universities including the University of Nebraska warning international students not to leave the country. In a statement released earlier this week, University of Nebraska president Hank Bounds called for the country to be “more inclusive, not less.”

Dr. Jane Meza serves as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for International Enrollment and Support at both the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She said UNMC and UNO attract students from all walks of life, yearning to make a difference.

“We attract talented students from across the world and we’re bringing talented minds together to solve the world’s problems,” Meza said.

Meza said she is unsure what this means when it comes to enrollment figures.

“We don’t really know how it will impact enrollment figures, but our goal is to make sure that the University of Nebraska works every day to be the kind of place where all students feel welcome – valued and safe.”

Meza said officials at the University of Nebraska will adhere to the “law of the land,” but that they want to ensure students have the most exceptional experience while in the University system. She said this has impacted both students and staff alike.

“We are concerned about how this will impact our students and employees. We’re advising individuals from these seven countries not to that travel outside of the United States at this time,” she said.

A rally on campus yesterday at UNO to support refugee and Muslim students, faculty and staff brought out about 100 students and faculty. Several international students spoke; stories were shared between cheers of encouragement. But the message was clear; UNO is a place of inclusivity.

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