Executive Order leaves William & Mary student stranded abroad

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First-year William and Mary students exit the Wren Building during 2016 Convocation. President Reveley stand to the left and looks on. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
First-year William and Mary students exit the Wren Building during 2016 Convocation. President Reveley stand to the left and looks on. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order Friday temporarily banning the entry of citizens from seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen –and the order is already affecting communities in the Historic Triangle.

William and Mary’s Director of News & Media Suzanne Seurattan said some of the college’s students are directly affected by the ban. 

“We have four students (a combination of undergraduate and graduate students) on student visas who are from the seven countries listed in the Executive Order,” said Seurattan via email.  “Among the four students, one graduate student is out of the country and unable to return at this moment due to the Executive Order. We are in touch with that student and the others and we want to do everything we can to assist them.”

Seurattan said that the college is not releasing the students’ names or any additional information at this time, in the interest of the students’ privacy.

William and Mary President Taylor Reveley sent a message regarding Trump’s Executive Order to the college community Sunday. Reveley explained the order, detailing how the order limits entry to the U.S. for citizens from seven middle-eastern nations, suspends the refugee program and requires interviews for Visas.

Reveley addressed the “serious concern” he said is present throughout the college community. He also offered the college’s Center for International Studies explanation of the Executive Order’s implications for William and Mary.

“We are now very much an international university that highly values and welcomes people from around the world,” said Reveley.  “Well over 1,000 students, scholars, faculty and family members from more than 65 countries are part of our community, including some on the executive order’s list.”

“As is true for us all,” he continued. “Our international people who are committed to learning and serving the greater good are warmly welcome at William & Mary, regardless of nationality, religion, or any such characteristic.”

Reveley added, “so far as William & Mary is concerned, we will continue to welcome and support our international people, and keep them informed, to the best of our abilities.”