July 8, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Monday a set of xenophobic measures, which target international students and reflect an ongoing assault on higher education.  We won’t stand by and let the announced changes to the Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) harm Trinity’s international students or the fabric of our education.

Though this directive is still likely to be revised, there are two important things that we can do for our international students right now during advising week.

First, we should advise international students who will be in Hartford to enroll in one in-person class in the fall, including the in-person section of a hybrid course.  We should reassure them that, no matter what, we will see to it that this happens.  International students already know this but still need our support.

Second, because this is a complex fall logistically with numerous unknown variables, we urge you to let registration unfold on its own.  After advance registration, we will move to accommodate every international student who has not gotten into an in-person class.  This is the fairest way to proceed, with the lowest likelihood of unintended consequences.

We will also remain vigilant against other risks to our international students, including whether seniors who study in their home countries would lose their OPT eligibility.  As other institutions are emphasizing, however, we should push back vigorously against these measures and not assume that they will stand as currently defined.  I had a call earlier today with my counterparts at peer institutions, and we are not alone in this stance.

For more information, which our international students are also receiving, please see this FAQ from our Office of International Students and Scholars.

As we all know, international students help to make our classrooms and campus an intellectually vibrant and diverse learning environment, essential to all of our students and our commitment to educating globally engaged citizens. We stand with and for our international students and firmly against everything that Monday’s directive represents—bigotry, chauvinism, and intimidation.  Thank you for your overwhelming support on behalf of our students and their right to learn freely.

Best regards,

Sonia Cardenas
Acting Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Political Science