Good Morning VIU Community,
As you may have heard, last Friday January 27, 2017 the President of the United States signed an Executive Order addressing immigrant, non-immigrant, and refugee entry into our country. In short, the order places a 90-day ban on the entry of individuals from seven countries, as well as a 120-day ban on refugee entry, and an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria. The countries impacted by the ban include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This does not embody the core values and beliefs of Virginia International University and we urge the federal government to address growing concerns among international students, faculty, and staff immediately.
At Virginia International University, the vast majority of our students travel from all over the world to fulfill their dreams of earning a degree from a reputable American university. We were founded on the principles of diversity and inclusion, and these values are written into our mission statement – the very thing that defines our university. VIU is unique and flourishes due to the international community and camaraderie across campus. We pride ourselves on our international setting and the ability to bring hundreds of students, all from varying backgrounds and continents into one classroom to share ideas and learn from each other, effectively bridging cultural divides. It is what makes VIU special. YOU are what makes VIU special.
We are still working to determine the full impact that the travel restrictions will have on our community moving forward, and will be keeping watch for any news that breaks related to this immigration reform order. In the immediate future, we recommend that students from these seven countries do not travel outside of the United States. The impact of this order is already being felt at airports and ports of entry both here and abroad. Individuals have been detained for long hours, and in some cases, days, as well as been denied the ability to board flights overseas.
Please know that the university stands ready to support and assist our international students in any way. If you are a student from a country impacted by this Executive Order, the International Student Service Office will be reaching out to you directly within the next couple of days to answer any questions you may have.
VIU has posted some information on the university website to provide you with answers to frequently asked questions. As we have additional information, we will make further updates. In the meantime, please visit the VIU website, and take a few moments to watch the following video, which highlights our diversity and special uniqueness as an institution, and know that we are here to support you always.
Isa Sarac, PhD
Virginia International University