Dr. Sophia Howlett, president of the School for International Training, today issued the following statement about the “Protection of the Nation” executive order:
School for International Training (SIT) is working to ensure the continued security of our students and staff, including our graduate students in Vermont and Washington, DC, and our undergraduate students currently in or preparing to leave for study abroad program locations around the world. We have determined that, currently, none of our students, faculty, or staff are directly impacted by the executive order as we understand it.
However, we are thinking of all those who have been affected by this order: those stranded in refugee camps who have had their dreams for a better future deferred; those who have struggled for years to gain the right paperwork to enter this country; those who have been left at airports, stranded overseas while on work trips or holiday, told they cannot go home, or are now in detention. These people are not strangers. They are us. When we stand for them, we stand for all of us.
We believe this executive order runs counter to our philosophy of education: For more than 50 years, SIT has been committed to creating and expanding an open and democratic society. We believe that such a society is the foundation of a just and peaceful world. SIT, with our Study Abroad programs and Graduate Institute, delivers international education that challenges our students to think critically about the world and its future. Our students learn from each other, our international faculty, as well as other cultures to become engaged and responsible global citizens. This is only possible when our campuses and student groups are diverse and inclusive.
SIT will continue to uphold these values.
In the coming days and weeks, we hope to learn more about this order. SIT’s students, faculty, and staff will continue to lend their voices to dialogue, debate and to protest, as the critical global citizens we know ourselves to be. It is from this exchange of ideas and worldviews that we all learn, grow, and create a more just and peaceful world.