Rev. William P Leahy, S.J. issued a statement to the Boston College Community at 10:31 p.m. on Jan. 29 in response to President Trump's "Muslim ban" Executive Order on Jan. 27.
Although students and faculty have been calling to end the BC administration's silence since the beginning of the academic year with the Solidarity Walk in September and the Stand Against Hate Rally after the election of President Donald Trump, this is the first email to directly address recent sociopolitical events to the entire community.
Boston College President Father Leahy, in conjunction with Executive Vice President Michael Lochhead and Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley, has now expressed the Boston College's commitment to those who feel affected by the Executive Order.
The email reads:
"Dear Members of the Boston College Community:
As you know, the Executive Order signed by President Trump on January 27 immediately suspended entry to the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days, and halted the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.
We write as senior leaders at Boston College to object to this directive, which has already had disturbing effects on individuals and families.
This Order undermines a key strength of our higher education system, as it turns away talented faculty and students who seek to immigrate to the United States. For decades, colleges and universities in America have benefited from such individuals, and our nation has enjoyed the fruits of having the world's greatest post-secondary education system. The Order is also contrary to American understandings of this nation's role as a refuge and its place as a society that does not discriminate on the basis of religion or national origin.
This decision also conflicts with the religious and educational heritage, beliefs and values of Boston College. The Judeo-Christian faith tradition emphasizes the necessity of caring for strangers and those in need. As Pope Francis recently reminded us, "It's hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. . . In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest, we will experience that we are already united; it is God's mercy that unites us."
Boston College was founded in 1863 to educate the children of immigrants and, like our nation, has gained so much from the presence and contributions of faculty, students, and staff born in other countries.
We are committed to ensuring that all at Boston College feel safe and valued, and that they are aware of the many resources available to them on campus. In particular, the staff from the Office of International Students and Scholars has been and will continue working to assist members of our community who are affected by the President's directive. Student Affairs and University Mission and Ministry personnel will also be available to provide assistance. For now we advise citizens of these seven nations to postpone travel outside the United States, as their reentry cannot be guaranteed.
We ask all members of the University community to be especially mindful of those among us who are most vulnerable as a result of this Executive Order, and to join us in reaffirming our core values of respect, welcome, and compassion for all.
William P. Leahy, S.J., President
Michael Lochhead, Executive Vice President
David Quigley, Provost and Dean of Faculties"