Post Classifieds

Concord Discusses International Ban

By Anastasiia Vorobeva
On February 9, 2017

Meeting held at Concokrd University to discuss President Trump's Executive Order.
Photo Courtesy of Anastasiia Vorobeva

Anxiety spread among some of the international students at Concord University concerning an executive order President Trump signed on Jan. 27, which suspended non-immigrants and immigrants of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days. 

    On Feb. 2, the school officials held a meeting for international students to listen to and discuss student concerns. Although Concord has no students currently enrolled at Concord from the banned countries (including Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Syria), the pure idea that any international student could have trouble reentering the country to resume school made people uncomfortable.

“I think there is some level of worrying and concern among international students. Probably not so much as far as countries banned this time, but insecurity about [the] unknown…what the future of international education would be under the Trump administration,” says Nancy Ellison, Director of Multicultural Affairs. 

    “Right now, as long as you are in the U.S., you are okay, but traveling abroad I think would be a problem.” 

    As a result of the uncertainty, some of the students refused to go home for the summer because they were not sure if they would have problems coming back to the United States.

    Haley McCord, Concord student and an American citizen, persuaded her boyfriend from Tunisia   to stay in the U.S. for the summer. She is worried that the ban could expand to Tunisia since it borders Libya. 

“I never thought a ban would happen to begin with. I’m not sure what the president’s next move will be, but I will sit on pins and needles until I hear some news. I worry about our future together and whether outsiders will remain accepting of our relationship.”

    About 35 students representing 22 nations, including America, came to the meeting at the International Student Office to listen to what Dr. Peter Viscusi, vice president and academic dean at Concord, Sarah Wambe, director of admissions, and Greg King, vice president for enrollment management, had to say about the ban. 

    Due to the lack of information available on the issue, the school officials primary concentrated on listening to the concerns and answered questions to the best of their abilities. Even though school officials are not sure what is to come, they assured the students that they are monitoring the situations and are open to communication.  

    The best advice is to buy a flexible ticket and insurance in case of international travel, said Wambe. “That way if something changes you are not stuck with $2,000 ticket home you can’t utilize…Flexible tickets would be your best friend from now on… or at least for this period of time.”

    The officials promised international students who were planning to go home for a break to communicate with their embassies about entry dates to try to secure their return to the U.S. 

      After the meeting was over, students stayed to talk to their friends and school officials and enjoy cookies provided by United Methodist Church, whose representatives came to support the international students at this stressful time. 

    “I am glad that Concord opened out this wing of communication with the students. I think it is important that students know that we are going to help them even if we don’t know what lies ahead,” says Wambe. 

    “It is important that students know that if they speak out we would listen and we are going to do what we can to assist them in any way possible.”

     “I think the biggest concern is where it could go,” says King, who believed the meeting was a successful conversation starter.

    “Everyone wonders ‘Could my country be next?’ ‘What does it mean for me?’ ‘What do I need to do if I want to travel, if I want to go back home between semesters?’…We had a great conversation and as long as our students know that we are here, we want to continue the conversation.”

    Some of international students still feel anxious, even with support from their American friends. Megastasia Waddy, international student from Malaysia, says that the amount of worried messages she received after the ban from her American friends made her feel happy. 

    “They think about me, they still want me to stay in here,” she said.  

    Brahim Ladhar, international student at Concord from Tunisia, said that it still bothered him that people were being judged “only by the passport they are holding.” Ladhar said that each time he was in the U.S., he was stopped and double checked “just because of my skin color and assuming that I’m a permanent threat for others’ safety.”

    Aiman Abdollah Abbasi, an international student from Pakistan, says that she is full of hope. “I just feel that things will get better soon, I will not be affected by that. Even if they ban it [Pakistan], I hope it will get better soon and I will be able to come here again.”

    Over the weekend of Feb. 4-5, the ban was stayed by the Court. It is left for the future to show how events will unfold.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More The Concordian News Articles

Recent The Concordian News Articles

Discuss This Article


Do you think the administration should reopen the pool?



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format