BSU, NTC President Releases Statement On Immigration Ban
Updated: January 31 at 3:40 PM
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College students were assured that the colleges will “continue to provide a safe, respectful and welcoming campus” in light of recent immigration policies.
One student attending Bemidji State is from Syria. In President Trump’s immigration executive order, Syrian refugees will be barred from entering the United States until further notice. Syrian citizens will not be allowed entry under any visa categories. The student at BSU is not on campus, but a college representative was not sure where they were currently located.
In a letter sent to students on Tuesday shortly after noon, President Faith Hensrud assured students that the campuses would provide a welcoming environment. She did not say if she opposed or supported the order.
President Hensrud called for the embrace of a city effort called ‘#BemidjiRespect‘ .
“Signatories to this effort affirm that we will not stand by if members of our community are treated poorly or marginalized,” said Hensrud in the email. “As members of our learning community, we ask that you remain vigilant and stand up for anyone who may be treated in ways that go against our shared values.”
The full letter sent to the students can be found below:
Dear BSU and NTC Campus Communities:
I know you have been reading and hearing a great deal about changes to federal immigration policies, and you may have questions about how they could affect students or employees who are from one of the seven countries identified in President Trump’s executive order. I want you to know I am working with members of my administration to ensure we continue to provide a safe, respectful and welcoming campus community for all individuals.
At Bemidji State University, we live our mission by creating a learning environment committed to student success and a sustainable future of our communities, state and planet. In addition, we are committed to instilling and promoting service to others, while advocating for respect and appreciation for the diverse peoples of our region and world.
At Northwest Technical College, our mission is to provide the educational experience to develop resourceful lifelong learners with knowledge, skills, and attitudes to secure rewarding careers and satisfying lives in an increasingly technologically focused, globally interdependent, multicultural society.
You should know that all members of our campus communities support our students in pursuit of their education, and through our shared values. These values include providing opportunities for students to learn about, experience and reflect on our commitment to civic engagement and leadership, as well as international and multicultural understanding. Our values guide who we are, and we demonstrate them in the ways we support one another within our campus and our community.
At Bemidji State and Northwest Technical College, we have also embraced the values supported by a Bemidji community effort called Bemidji Respect. Signatories to this effort affirm that we will not stand by if members of our community are treated poorly or marginalized. As members of our learning community, we ask that you remain vigilant and stand up for anyone who may be treated in ways that go against our shared values.
If any of you as students have concerns with behavior toward you or anyone else, I urge you to talk with your faculty or members of our senior staff. You may also contact me, BSU Provost Michael Anderson or NTC Vice President, Paula Langteau. Here is contact information for other individuals who can also assist you:
Cherish Hagen Swanson, Office of International Programs
755-4096 or CHagenSwanson@bemidjistate.edu
Dr. Jesse Grant, Dean of Students
755-2075 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Randy Ludeman, Associate Director of Residence Life and Conduct
755-3750 or email@example.com
Dr. Debra Peterson, Chief Diversity Officer
755-4121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also want to share the following statement from Minnesota State Chancellor Steven Rosenstone as he expresses the commitment of the entire system to ensuring your safety in an environment that is inclusive and welcoming:
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Minnesota State’s Board of Trustees has had a long-standing and “enduring commitment to enhancing Minnesota’s quality of life by developing and fostering understanding and appreciation of a free and diverse society and providing equal opportunity for all its students and employees.” Board policy goes on to say that, “No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
In light of the heightened national immigration debate over recent days and weeks, I want to underscore our steadfast commitment to ensuring that our campuses will remain safe and welcoming places of inclusion, hope, and opportunity for all students and employees.
The state of Minnesota – its businesses, its industries, and indeed, its economic vitality – has long benefited from the scientific, cultural, and economic contributions of international students, scholars, and immigrants from around the globe. It is critical that Minnesota remain steadfast in its commitment to recruit this talent to our state.
30 East 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
I ask for your assistance as we all commit to our mission and values by ensuring that we provide an inclusive, safe and positive learning environment for all students and employees at both of our institutions.
Faith C. Hensrud
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College
1500 Birchmont Drive NE, #3
Bemidji, MN 56601