Despite the fact that not a single U.S. citizen has been killed in a terrorist attack committed by persons from any of the seven countries listed in President Trump’s travel ban, our current administration still views those countries as threatening enough to belong on a blacklist.
The executive order enacting the ban was signed Jan. 27 and has since been met with staunch opposition from public institutions of all kinds, including public universities such as IU. It has since been suspended, but it is currently being considered for reinstatement in federal appeals court.
On the Sunday after the order, both President Michael McRobbie and Vice President and Executive Provost Lauren Robel released statements establishing the University’s position on the travel ban and accompanying immigration restrictions.
McRobbie wrote the order is “contrary to the very core of our values as an institution committed to excellence and innovation,” and Robel reiterates that IU will uphold “strong advocacy against” the discriminatory policies.
IU is joined in its support of a collaborative, international community by more than 100 other public colleges, according to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
Included in this community is Purdue University, our rival in athletics but our ally in the promotion of education and tolerance. President and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels describes the travel ban as “poorly implemented” and notes that “if the idea is to strengthen the protection of Americans against terrorism, there are many far better ways to achieve it.”
Although universities are typically expected to maintain political neutrality to allow students to form their own opinions, Trump’s executive order represents the kind of exceptional case in which strong and clear action is required if the best interests of students and faculty are to be protected.
The Editorial Board appreciates McRobbie's and Robel’s declarations of solidarity with those whom Trump’s executive actions will harm. Such measures are vital to maintaining inclusive campus environments that, as they put it, “educate students for active, engaged and committed citizenship.”
With the recent rise of nationalist rhetoric and legislation that targets minority groups, it has become necessary to fortify institutions that offer vital services — including education — to people of color.
It is the responsibility of those in positions of power to act with dignity and benevolence, and when our elected officials will not uphold this standard, we as students still deserve strong leaders to whom we can look for comfort and guidance. We need people to remind us that America truly is a nation of immigrants whose diversity adds value and beauty, not weakness and danger.
The Editorial Board believes that Hoosiers are lucky to be part of a community that does not waver in its resolution to foster compassion and cultural acceptance. It is only by continuing on in this way that we can ensure our university remains a welcoming home for all.
As Robel assures us, “we are one IU; full stop, no exceptions.”