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Message to the community from President Cassidy and Dean Walters

February 24, 2017

The following message was sent to the community by President Cassidy and Dean Walters on February 24, 2017.

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

This week the Trump administration has announced plans to enforce more aggressively existing immigration laws and instructed schools in the public K-12 system to make their own determinations about the use of bathrooms by transgender students.

We have reviewed these changes and considered the impact they may have on our community members, particularly our students.  The College has not changed its policies or practices in any manner concerning undocumented students or transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming students.  Bryn Mawr will maintain its policy of non-discrimination in access to education and equal protection under the law.

Given the fear and uncertainty that these changes may bring to some of our students, we thought it would be helpful to remind the community of the following College policies and practices as they affect undocumented and international students.

Student Records

  • The College will continue its practice of not releasing information about students’ citizenship or immigration status (including information regarding students’ visas and Green Cards), unless presented with a subpoena or similar legal requirement.
  • The College does not use E-Verify to verify a student’s (or staff member’s) eligibility to work at the College.

Campus Safety

  • As is currently the case, Campus Safety will not be involved with enforcing federal immigration laws, including Green Card and visa issues, nor will they inquire about or record a student’s immigration status when interacting with students.  Law enforcement officials seeking to come on campus are expected to check in first with Campus Safety and present a warrant or other enforceable legal instrument.

Admissions and Financial Aid

  • All of our academic programs will continue to consider applicants who are undocumented immigrants in the same way they consider U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and will not discriminate on the basis of immigration status.
  • The College will continue to welcome applicants and to support students of all nationalities and religions.
  • We will continue to meet full, demonstrated financial need for all students, including undocumented and international students, enrolled at Bryn Mawr.

We understand that the administration may continue to issue restrictions on travel and advise community members to visit U.S. Immigration Policy Information, which will be updated and can be found here.

While nothing in the latest presidential action changes the College’s approach to protecting our students, it appears clear that the Trump administration’s newly announced plan could increase the risk of deportation for certain individuals.  We caution our students that if they have an interaction with law enforcement in which their activity could be viewed as illegal, the new guidelines indicate that they are more vulnerable than in the past and are at greater risk of deportation.

Our students and applicants who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender nonconforming, as well as their allies, may be concerned about the recent executive action regarding K-12 students.  This executive order will not change Bryn Mawr’s inclusion and support of these students.  We direct community members to the Gender Identity and Expression webpage of the Pensby Center to learn more about Bryn Mawr’s support for and admission of these individuals.

As we navigate these challenging times, we encourage all community members to be extra kind and generous to themselves and others and make use of the many college resources for support.  Each day we are reminded of the value of a liberal arts education in engaging the issues of this time, of standing up for what we know and believe and of the important role our College plays in creating the next generation of change agents.

With best wishes,

Kim Cassidy, President

Jennifer Walters, Dean of the Undergraduate College

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