University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., Executive Vice President Michael Lochhead, and Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley sent the Boston College community an email tonight condemning President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry to the United States for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and barring entry for all refugees for 120 days.
“This Order undermines a key strength of our higher education system, as it turns away talented faculty and students who seek to immigrate to the United States,” the three wrote. “For decades, colleges and universities in America have benefited from such individuals, and our nation has enjoyed the fruits of having the world’s greatest post-secondary education system.”
The letter mentioned Pope Francis’s statement that, “It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help.”
In December, Leahy signed two statements supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order from the administration of Barack Obama that helps protect undocumented students on college campuses. DACA is seen as potentially threatened under Trump.
Leahy received considerable criticism this fall for not commenting on the vandalism of a parking lot sign in the Mod Lot with a homophobic slur. The silence prompted several student groups to organize a march through campus in September called “Silence is Violence.” In an interview in October, University Spokesman Jack Dunn said that Leahy believes BC’s role is to teach students how to think, and not what to think, and therefore refrains from commenting on political issues that some students think he should address.
Leahy’s last letter to the BC community came in May 2014, when he sent an end-of-year update outlining several key hirings, announcing some changes to facilities, reviewing tuition changes and student aid figures, and recapping some faculty and student academic achievements.
“Boston College was founded in 1863 to educate the children of immigrants and, like our nation, has gained so much from the presence and contributions of faculty, students, and staff born in other countries,” the three wrote. “We are committed to ensuring that all at Boston College feel safe and valued, and that they are aware of the many resources available to them on campus.”
Below is the full text of the administrators’ email:
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