July 8, 2020
Dear Southern Community,
As you are aware, the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced Monday that international students taking online courses only may no longer remain in the country. While Southern will be reopening in the fall with a mix of on-ground, hybrid and online classes, a pivot to fully remote learning due to a surge in the COVID-19 virus would mean that our international student population would be forced to return to their home countries to complete their studies, whether or not they have the resources to do so.
I echo the thoughts of CSCU President Ojakian, in denouncing this harmful directive. International students are a valued part of our multicultural community and add to the rich diversity of thought and activity on our campus. With the overwhelming support of our faculty, advisement team and other staff, we will continue to support their academic and personal needs in every way possible.
Our Office of International Education (OIE) is working closely with new and returning degree-seeking international and English Language Pathways Program students to ensure that they can understand and navigate the ICE directive.
As you may know, presidential proclamations issued between February and June prevent many international students from entering or re-entering the U.S. As a result, some new and continuing international students will be unable to be physically present on campus when the semester begins.
The OIE is doing everything in its power to support these students as well, and will continue to work with our Connecticut Student and Exchange Visitor Program representative, international education counterparts at neighboring universities, and our faculty and staff so that we can achieve the best possible outcome.
If you have questions or concerns about this issue, please contact Dr. Erin Heidkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your dedication to ensuring that our international students receive the assistance they need to complete their educational journey at Southern.