The Strategic Director for Diversity and Inclusion and Multicultural Programs and Initiatives at OU, Dr. Winsome Marcia Chunnu

Athens and Ohio University Respond to President Trump’s Executive Ban

Posted on:

< < Back to

In wake of  President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven countries, Ohio University and the Athens Community are working to make sure its residents feel welcome.

Who is Affected?

Ohio University Students Protest President Trump’s Executive Ban on immigration from 7 countries. Photo Courtesy of: International Student Union

Ohio University Students from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen are fearful they may never see their family members again after those without green cards were banned from entering the U.S.

Students from the International Student Union gathered outside Baker University Center in Athens to demonstrate the order.

According to Ohio University’s International Student and Faculty Services Office, there are nearly 1,500 international
student currently enrolled in classes. More than 50 are from the seven counties included in the ban.

What is Ohio University Doing to Help?

President Roderick McDavis released a statement Sunday evening saying “Ohio University is committed to promoting an atmosphere where understanding and acceptance of cultural ethnic differences are guaranteed.” McDavis also encouraged students affected by the action to “seek counsel” from International Student and Faculty Services.

The Strategic Director for Diversity and Inclusion and Multicultural Programs and Initiatives at OU, Dr. Winsome Marcia Chunnu, said it is unclear what the president’s order means for the international students. It may take the university time to accommodate international students both abroad and on main campus.

“It will affect those students who are trying to defend this semester financially, emotionally, physically, as well as the students studying abroad who intend to come back and finally do a final paper to graduate,” Chunnu said. “It will definitely impact all of those sorts of decisions.”

What is The Community Doing to Help?

Sign outside Brenen’s Coffee showing their support for international students.

The Athens Community is also attempting to make international students feel welcome. Brenen’s Coffee Cafe put a sign in their front window to let international residents know they were welcome.

“Athens is one of the nicest places, like a little haven in the middle of a lot of scariness,” Ohio University Alum, Greg Dikis said. “I think it’s really nice that places like Brenen’s come out and put up signs like this.”

The ISFS office provides counseling services for international students throughout the school year, Monday- Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. The office provides assistance to the international students who feel they need it. This guidance includes anything from issues with a Visa to helping them get a tutor. The students can also make an appointment with an advisor for a more personable experience.