At the second of two information sessions for international students, the IU administration restated and clarified its support for students from outside the United States. Among those who spoke were IU Police Department Capt. Andy Stephenson, who said IUPD will continue to support students in every way possible.
“You have nothing to fear from the Indiana University Police Department,” Stephenson said. “We want you to be safe.”
The informational sessions are designed to clarify an executive order that has a lot of people worried, said Christopher Viers, associate vice president of International Services at IU.
At the meeting, concerns were raised about the police possibly asking about immigration status after the recent executive order. Stephenson said the immigration status of individual students was of no interest to IUPD.
“We’re not concerned with that at all,” Stephenson said.
Both information sessions were the idea of Amity Pecenka, a University Division adviser, who called the concept her “heartchild.”
She said she wanted to help students understand they are not alone in their concerns and the University supports them.
“There really wasn’t a whole lot of thought behind it,” Pecenka said. “There’s a lot of policy changes which are unsettling.”
She and other advisors, staff and faculty brought baked goods and signs to show their support both nights. She said she was elated at the show of support.
“It’s the people of IUB showing what they value,” Pecenka said.
Earlier Thursday morning he said he had been in Indianapolis and had spoken to Nasser Paydar, who is from Iran and is the chancellor of IU-Purdue University Indianapolis. While Paydar has been a United States citizen for 30 years, Viers said even Paydar was worried about traveling.
“That gives me a better sense of how this must feel for you,” Viers said.
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