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Campus Update: In solidarity with International Students 7/14/2020


Dear ESF Community,

The Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (IDE) Committee is writing to confirm our solidarity with, and support of, our international community in light of the most recent guidance issued by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) indicating that international students on F-1 or M-1 visas whose schools are entirely online for the Fall 2020 semester will not be eligible to maintain their student status and remain in the United States. Full text of the guidance can be found here: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bcm2007-01.pdf. The Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee comprises student scholars, staff, and faculty representation from ESF who recognize our responsibility to the globe each day as we facilitate exchange among international institutions, students, and faculty.

Although ESF is planning a hybrid model for the fall semester, which will allow students to take in-person classes, we recognize that this guidance puts undue pressure, stress, and uncertainty on international students, and that students across the country are being impacted. If ESF should need to change to a fully online model midway through the semester, as happened in the spring, our students will need to immediately leave the country--at a great financial cost and risk of personal safety. The Office of International Education has reached out to support international students and to offer them immigration advising. OIE will continue to provide updates and clarifications as more information becomes available. The IDE Committee is working in concert with the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, as well as the Office of International Education, and is seeking ways to work with others to communicate solidarity and solutions.

The IDE Committee recognizes the unique contributions of international students as integral parts of the ESF community. They are our classmates, colleagues, and friends. They are part of what makes ESF a special institution, and without their voices and presence, our community cannot thrive. They are integral for diverse perspectives and thoughts in so many of our classes, enriching the experience for everyone. We care deeply for their safety, well-being, and right to pursue an education. As a committee, we stand with our international community and want them to know that ESF will always be there for them. We are all part of the ESF family, and we will continue to support and advocate for all members of our campus community.

Anyone who has questions or concerns related to this topic is encouraged to contact the Office of International Education at oie@esf.edu.

In solidarity,
Members of the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee