Student Government column

Feb 5, 2017

Carnegie Mellon’s propensity for empathy is always highlighted at times of drastic change. Trump’s new immigration policy poses a lot of changes to Carnegie Mellon students. Trump’s executive order, released on Jan. 27, limited immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days from the date of the order, as well as suspended the United States Refugee Admissions Program. This was preceded by an executive order issued on Jan. 25 to begin construction on the wall between the U.S. and Mexico which Donald Trump promised during his campaign under the similar pretense of national security. This act of specifically addressing different types of immigrants within his orders as threats to our nation’s safety, paired with increased immigration regulation and surveillance, has left many unsure of their permanence or state of welcome in the United States.

Carnegie Mellon’s response to this, as always, has taken a very thoughtful approach of constructive conversation and sharing of experiences. Across the board, very few places on campus have kept quiet about the changes in our country. From faculty to staff to students, the Carnegie Mellon community is coming together to make sure that the significance of these immigration changes is not left understated. President Suresh publicly declared a stance of support for immigrants and the Mechanical Engineering department hosted a town hall on immigration.

In terms of related talks, Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) hosted an event on Sunday, Feb. 5 for students affected by these executive orders to provide a place for discussion and support. My Facebook feed has been flooded with insightful articles and phone numbers of representatives you can call to voice your opinion. There are so many places on campus to speak about your ideas on these new actions and so many places to listen to students who may feel personally affected by these changes.

So where does the Student Body President’s Cabinet lie in this? We stand firmly in support of the right of every student to get an education and to feel safe in the space they’re in. We hope to act upon this by continuing to support the free exchange of ideas, like at Pizza and Conversations. However, if you have any ideas on events you want to see hosted, you can always stop by office hours on Thursdays or contact anyone on Cabinet. In case you have any questions about the event or how CaPS intersects with these executive orders, you can always email outreach-at-caps@andrew.cmu.edu.