Wisconsin

Stroebel Condemns UWL Letter on Trump

Education

State Senator Duey Stroebel on Monday released an email in which UW-Lacrosse Chancellor Joe Gow and other senior administration staff criticize President Donald Trump’s executive order concerning immigrant travel restrictions. Stroebel said the email condemns Trump’s actions without pointing out that the seven countries covered by it either sponsor terrorism or harbor terrorist training facilities:

At the end of the day, I support broadening the education possibilities for citizens from around the world at University of Wisconsin System Schools regardless of country of origin or religious beliefs. Nonetheless, senior administration staff should not take public opinions on policy with the intent to influence the view of students. After all, a plurality of Wisconsinites voted for the current administration.

In forwarding the email to Stroebel’s office, Gow said he was happy to share it and that it went to all 12,000 to 13000 faculty, staff and retirees of UWL. Here is the paragraph to which Stroebel refers:

Like so many of you, the UWL leadership team and I are shocked and saddened by President Donald Trump’s order prohibiting refugees and people from certain predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Here at UWL we do not discriminate based on a person’s religion or country of origin, and it is very troubling to see the leader of our country doing exactly that.

Trump made clear that travelers from the seven affected nations were targeted because of those countries’ ties to terrorism, not because of the religious beliefs of the travelers. That omission, as Stroebel alludes to in his statement, could easily leave the reader with the impression that the travelers were targeted because they are Muslim and not because of their country of origin.

Stroebel criticized the UWL officials for injecting their personal beliefs into a campus-wide email:

At the end of the day, I support broadening the education possibilities for citizens from around the world at University of Wisconsin System Schools regardless of country of origin or religious beliefs. Nonetheless, senior administration staff should not take public opinions on policy with the intent to influence the view of students. After all, a plurality of Wisconsinites voted for the current administration.

Here is the email in its entirety:

Dear students and colleagues:

 

Like so many of you, the UWL leadership team and I are shocked and saddened by President Donald Trump’s order prohibiting refugees and people from certain predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. Here at UWL we do not discriminate based on a person’s religion or country of origin, and it is very troubling to see the leader of our country doing exactly that.

 

At such an unsettling time, we are writing to reaffirm our University’s commitment to support our international students, faculty, and staff, and our commitment to the values of international collaboration and engagement. Our students, faculty, and staff from around the world are an integral part of our campus community, and play a crucial role in our educational mission.

 

Likewise, we want to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring a safe and inclusive campus environment for all individuals, regardless of their national origin, citizenship/immigration status, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability and other significant aspects of individual and cultural identity.

 

And we also want to let you know that our university will maintain the privacy of information about the citizenship/immigration status of all individuals, except where required by law or authorized by the individual. Please know that, except where required by law, UWL Police do not assist in immigration enforcement or deportation of any individual, and do not inquire about or record immigration status when performing their duties.

 

We will continue to monitor developments and do our best to provide guidance and support to affected individuals and the university offices providing relevant services to them. Our Offices of International Education and Engagement, Human Resources, and Counseling Services are available for those needing various kinds of support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Joe Gow, Chancellor

Nizam Arain, Director of Affirmative Action

Bob Hetzel, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance

Paula Knudson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Betsy Morgan, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Greg Reichert, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

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