Admins race to respond to EO within court's window
MIT President L. Rafael Reif called Friday’s executive order on immigration “a stunning violation of our deepest American values.”
In an email to campus, he said that the order, which temporarily prevents nationals of seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the United States, is contrary to principles of “fairness, equality, openness, generosity, courage.”
“If we accept this injustice, where will it end?” Reif wrote. “Which group will be singled out for suspicion tomorrow?”
Reif indicated that he would use MIT’s position to push for change in areas where the Institute has most leverage.
“Institutionally, though we may not be vocal in every instance, you can be confident we are paying attention… we will speak and act when and where we judge we can be most effective.”
Provost Marty A. Schmidt, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart PhD ’88, and Vice President for Research Maria T. Zuber encouraged students to “join in a show of support for MIT’s values” by attending a rally in Lobby 7 on Sunday.
Faculty Chair Krishna Rajagopal sent an email to MIT faculty inviting them to join the rally as well.
“It is with deep concern that I am, as many are, watching the news of President Trump's executive order preventing nationals of certain countries from entering the United States,” he wrote to faculty.
Reif stressed the resources available to students in his email, directing them to the International Students Office and International Scholars Office.
He noted that administrators have encountered setbacks as they attempt to work personally with each of the affected students.
“The difficulty we have encountered in seeking to help the individuals from our community heightens our overall sense of concern,” he wrote.
In his email, Reif asserted MIT’s ability as a research institute to draw talent from around the globe to contribute to science that benefits both the nation and the world.
“MIT is profoundly American… We embody the American passion for boldness, big ideas, hard work, and hands-on problem-solving,” he wrote. “We are as American as the flag on the moon.”
“At the same time, and without the slightest sense of contradiction, MIT is profoundly global,” he wrote.
He noted that over 40 percent of faculty and graduate students, and 10 percent of undergraduates, are international, coming from 134 different countries. “The policies announced Friday tear at the very fabric of our society.”
In an email to The Tech, Barnhart said the administration has set up a fund — the MIT Global Student and Scholar Support Fund — in response to the executive order. The fund will offer financial support to students, scholars, and staff affected by the executive order, Barnhart said.