To the Metropolitan State community:
I am sure that all of us have now read or heard that the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled a lower court’s decision blocking President Donald Trump’s September 2017 travel ban. That proclamation imposes immigration and travel restrictions on nationals of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, as well as increased scrutiny of visa applicants from Iraq.
As we have experienced with previous immigration executive orders, these restrictions create feelings of fear and insecurity, especially for our students and their family members who are from the affected nations, who are living in those nations, or who are close to people there. However, this news is more disturbing than the preceding bans, because it is not tempered by the hope of a judicial remedy in the foreseeable future.
For this reason, I want to reaffirm in the clearest terms Metropolitan State University’s welcome and support for all students and employees, and for their communities, whatever their lands of origin. We embrace the foundational freedoms that continue to be guaranteed to all by the U.S. Constitution, including the freedom of religion and the stricture against any government establishment of religion.
Our University’s mission, vision, and values explicitly underscore our commitments to disciplined inquiry, excellence, anti-racism, and inclusion. We will continue to deploy Metropolitan State’s resources to address our members’ varied needs. University staff are working to develop campus activities to help us learn about the issues facing us and provide gatherings for productive conversations. In addition, soon we expect to receive a message of welcome and support from the Minnesota State system office.
In the light of these events and issues, faculty, staff, and students may be interested in taking part tomorrow (4 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, June 28) in a celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, organized by the East Side Freedom Library and the University. The celebration will include a 90-minute walking tour, led by Dr. Peter Rachleff, to learn about immigrants to our neighborhood in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. (RSVP to Chrissy Hursh, email@example.com , for the walk.) There will also be a special reading at the library: Green Card Voices: The Voices of Saint Paul’s Immigrant Youth .
The Equal Opportunity Office website also includes links to important immigration resources and support.
The support of our International Student Services office is available to provide students with information, counsel, and referrals (Founders Hall 231; 651-793-1219).
Students who are experiencing stressful circumstances can contact Counseling Services or the Associate Provost for Student Success, Ms. Roberta Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org ; 651-793-1920). Academic advisors and faculty members can provide support and connect students with needed resources.
Any persons with concerns about apparent discrimination or harassment should contact the University’s Equal Opportunity and Chief Diversity Officer, Mr. Craig Morris (email@example.com ; 651-793-1272).
Employees with questions or concerns can find support by contacting:
- Ms. Deb Gehrke, Chief Human Resources Officer,
firstname.lastname@example.org ; 651-793-1978
- Ms. Sue Raddatz, Assistant HR Director, email@example.com ; 651-793-1976
- Mr. Andrew Skluzacek, HR Generalist—Employee Relations,
firstname.lastname@example.org ; 651-793-1340
- Mr. Craig Morris, Equal Opportunity and Chief Diversity Officer, email@example.com ; 651-793-1272
Employees who are dealing with stress may confidentially access the Employee Assistance Program, LifeMatters, through its website.
Please share the resources above with any members of our community who may be seeking such support and may not have seen this message, as we walk together through the days ahead.
President Virginia "Ginny" Arthur, JD
Metropolitan State University
Preferred gender pronouns: she/her/hers