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University International Student Centers Grapple With Immigration Order

Wright State University
K. Shimada/Wikimedia Commons

It was a hectic weekend for international education coordinators at Dayton-area universities. Since President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S., some are scrambling to figure out the next steps for their affected students.

Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, the director of the Center for International Education at Wright State University, says there’s been a lot of confusion surrounding the executive order.

“I mean, at this point, it’s just -- there’s a lot of unpredictability. So we’re just trying to take it one day at a time.”

Streeter-Ferrari says staff at the center have been meeting around the clock.

“To go through the documents, to go through the list of students, to think about all the questions we haven’t asked ourselves in thinking about next steps.”

53 international students at Wright State come from the countries affected by the order. Streeter-Ferrari says the majority of them did not have plans to travel out of the country, and they’re advising those who did to reconsider.

At the University of Dayton, 45 students, faculty and staff are from the affected countries. Amy Anderson, the executive director of the center for international programs at UD,  says none of them are traveling abroad, or have plans to travel within the next few months. She says, now, their focus is on reassuring affected students that the University of Dayton is an inclusive environment.

“And we hear from students all the time that they feel welcome on campus and that they know there’s a difference between the national rhetoric and what’s happening on campus," said Anderson. "But nonetheless it’s hard for many people to see this kind of climate in the national landscape."

Officials at both UD and Wright State say they are holding meetings for affected students to express their concerns to university administrators.