Published: Feb 2, 2017
The University of Victoria’s Graduate Students’ Society (the GSS) is deeply shocked and concerned about the recent executive order issued by the President of the United States, restricting entry to the United States by individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries. We believe this act of institutionalized racism against the Muslim community represents only one in an ongoing series of unwarranted and unacceptable attacks on minority groups in North America.
While the GSS does not typically comment on actions taken by other countries, we wanted to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the social welfare of our membership -- social welfare that relies on our continuous efforts to fight against racism, islamophobia, xenophobia, and all other forms of discrimination. The GSS membership at UVIC is a community of all religions, races, gender identities and sexualities, and we value and appreciate the vibrant, diverse and international nature of this community.
On Tuesday January 31st, our Graduate Representative Council met and discussed the many ways in which the recent executive orders affect our membership. We have also heard concerns from several students, including students from the seven countries affected, Muslim students from nations unaffected by the orders, students of US citizenship, and students with family living in the US. From these discussions, the GSS has put together a list of several concrete proposals which we will discuss with the University President on Friday February 3rd. All graduate students are encouraged to contact our Chair (email@example.com) with requests or suggestions for administrative action on this issue.
Supports, resources and information for affected graduate students can be found on the UVIC website (http://www.uvic.ca/international/home/news/current/20170201-travel-to-usa.php) as well as in the President’s address (http://www.uvic.ca/info/president/statements/quebec-us-order-30jan2017.php), and as always, the students and staff of the GSS are here to help.
In the days and months ahead, we would like to encourage all graduate students to support and be mindful of each other, and extend our efforts to build a supportive and inclusive community.
Please stay tuned to our website and our social media feed, as we will be issuing further statements outlining resources, points of contact, and possible accommodations for those impacted by the executive orders, as we are made aware of them. We will also be announcing informational and community-building events to support our members through these difficult times.
Your GSS Executive Board
Amanda, Danny, Noa, Julie, Gillian and Stacy