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University International Student Centers Grapple With Immigration Order

K. Shimada/Wikimedia Commons

It was a hectic weekend for international education coordinators at Dayton-area universities. Since President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S., some are scrambling to figure out the next steps for their affected students.

Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, the director of the Center for International Education at Wright State University, says there’s been a lot of confusion surrounding the executive order.“I mean, at this point, it’s just -- there’s a lot of unpredictability. So we’re just trying to take it one day at a time.”

Streeter-Ferrari says staff at the center have been meeting around the clock.

“To go through the documents, to go through the list of students, to think about all the questions we haven’t asked ourselves in thinking about next steps.”

Credit K. Shimada/Wikimedia Commons

53 international students at Wright State come from the countries affected by the order.Streeter-Ferrarisays the majority of them did not have plans to travel out of the country, and they’re advising those who did to reconsider.

At the University of Dayton, 45 students, faculty and staff are from the affected countries. Amy Anderson, the executive director of the center for international programs atUD,  says none of them are traveling abroad, or have plans to travel within the next few months. She says, now, their focus is on reassuring affected students that the University of Dayton is an inclusive environment.

“And we hear from students all the time that they feel welcome on campus and that they know there’s a difference between the national rhetoric and what’s happening on campus," said Anderson. "But nonetheless it’s hard for many people to see this kind of climate in the national landscape."

Officials at both UD and Wright State say they are holding meetings for affected students to express their concerns to university administrators.


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April Laissle is a graduate of Ohio University and comes to WYSO from WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio where she worked as a weekend host and reporter. There, she reported on everything from food insecurity to 4-H chicken competitions. April interned at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where she focused on health reporting. She also worked on The Broad Experience, a New-York based podcast about women and workplace issues. In her spare time, April loves traveling, trying new recipes and binge-listening to podcasts. April is a Florida native and has been adjusting to Ohio weather since 2011.