Roger Williams University President issues statement in response to executive order on immigration

BRISTOL, R.I., Feb. 3, 2017 – Roger Williams University President Donald J. Farish
issued the following statement to the university community regarding President
Trump’s executive order on immigration:

This university is named for Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island who helped
enshrine freedom of religion as a bedrock principle for this nation. So, in the wake
of the president’s executive order on immigration, we feel a special responsibility
to declare our full support for all Roger Williams University faculty, students and
staff — regardless of their religious beliefs, national origin or immigration
I have already joined 600 college and university presidents in signing a letter
supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed
741,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the

I have also joined 200 college and university presidents in signing a letter
articulating our belief in «human decency, equal rights, freedom of expression and
freedom from discrimination.»

Now, during this period of confusion and alarm, I am affirming our commitment to
international and Muslim students, faculty and staff — as well as to their

Now, I am affirming our commitment to the privacy of student records, consistent
with state and federal laws. That means RWU will not provide information on an
individual’s religion, ethnicity or immigration status to anyone except as required
by law.

Now, I am extending the full range of campus programs and services available at RWU
to help support students, faculty and staff navigate this uncertain time.

In short, I am extending to them the welcome demanded by our namesake’s legacy.

I am making this statement today, following consultation with the RWU Faculty Senate
on Wednesday. In the next week or so, I will be holding another «Fireside Chat» to
allow members of the campus community to talk about their concerns and views
regarding the executive order and related matters. I am especially interested in
hearing from international students but all are welcome to attend and discuss these
issues. Information on the date, place and time will be forthcoming shortly.

In the meantime, faculty, staff and students may tap into the assistance and
information available at: The RWU Intercultural Center (401) 254-3121; the Spiegel
Center for Global and International Programs Abroad (401) 254-3899; and the
Spiritual Life Program (401) 254-3433. Faculty and staff may also contact the Office
of General Counsel at (401) 254-5379 regarding H-1B visas and related immigration

Donald J. Farish,
Roger Williams University