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Penn State Update: Campus Climate

Penn State is firmly committed to ensuring that every student, faculty and staff member feels safe in our community. Nurturing a welcoming environment where education and research can flourish is one of our top priorities. As part of our obligation and commitment as a university, we also are dedicated to the right of members of our community to express their opinions on matters of concern, but we will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or violence. This site offers up-to-date statements and resources that may be helpful for those looking for accurate information on immigration, changes in federal policy and key issues impacting the Penn State community.

Our commitment will not falter

Penn State leaders reaffirm that hatred has no place at the University

(Nov. 14, 2017) 

The current tenor nationally and recurrent displays of discrimination, bias and sometimes violence that permeate news headlines have resulted in trying times not only for our country, but also for those of us who live, study and work on college campuses. Though Penn State strives to create a diverse and inclusive environment for all, we – like any institution of higher education – are not immune to the efforts of those who bring hate and prejudice to our community.

We are aware that hate — whether it’s close to home or far away — affects everyone in our community in different ways. Like many of you, we are personally and deeply offended by the abhorrent displays of vitriol and prejudice. The statements and actions made by some individuals are hurtful, repugnant and certainly not in line with Penn State’s values and our community’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.

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Penn State president shares message on DACA announcement

(Sept. 5, 2017)

In light of a memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security that the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be ending, we are deeply concerned for the welfare of the students impacted.

I have joined with university leaders from across U.S. higher education institutions to express continued support for the education of all qualified students who graduate from our high schools. Every student at this University has earned the right to be here based on their academic talent and hard work.

My leadership team will continue in its work to build a supportive and diverse community that embraces equity and inclusion for all. We remain committed to our ultimate goal for all students: to provide them with a world-class education that will help them to become successful, productive members of society.

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University issues statement following revised executive order

(March 7, 2017)

As you may have seen, a revised executive Order was issued Monday (March 6) by President Donald Trump. The new executive order, which will go into effect on March 16, 2017, removes Iraq from the list of seven countries impacted by the previous Order, and implements a 90-day suspension on issuance of new visas, including student visas, to citizens from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen who wish to travel to the United States (U.S.). An important distinction is that the new Order exempts current visa holders and those who held visas at the time the original Order was implemented. International students and scholars with valid F, M or J visas are not affected at this time. It also provides for a “case-by-case” waiver process for individuals from these six countries who fit certain criteria.

While the modest relaxation this new order represents is a positive change, and we hope this Order will be immediately less disruptive for our community, we remain concerned that it will still have an overall detrimental impact. Many in our community will still be anxious about its implications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your individual situation, please contact Penn State’s Office of Global Programs, 814-865-7681, or an advisor to discuss your circumstances.

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Statement in response to posters on campus telling people to identify “illegal aliens”

(Feb. 8, 2017)

We are aware of the posters appearing on public campus bulletin boards encouraging the reporting of illegal immigrants. The posters are unsigned and appear to be designed to provoke anger, fear and hate. The University finds them deeply offensive. Those posters that are found on University bulletin boards designated for use only by University organizations, under normal policy and practice, are being removed. Some of these posters, however, are on public boards. Those will not be removed but may be relocated if they are used to block other posted documents. As an institution of higher education, Penn State fully supports the right of free speech and encourages its expression in thoughtful and respectful ways, even when we strongly disagree with the opinions expressed.

The University would like to emphasize that every student on this campus has earned the right to be here based on their academic qualifications and hard work. Penn State is enriched by students and scholars from around the world and we will continue our work on providing a climate of inclusion for all, regardless of country of origin. As an expression of our values, and for information on the University’s support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), click here. Penn State continues to be a campus dedicated to building a safe, supportive and welcoming learning environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion.

President joins U.S. higher education leaders, signs letter on immigration order

(Feb. 3, 2017)

Penn State President Eric Barron has joined university presidents from across the U.S. in signing a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The letter, organized by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU), expresses concerns about the recent executive order on immigration. Available to read at http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/Letter-From-Institutions-to-DHS-on-Immigration-Executive-Order.pdf, the message focuses on higher education’s principles concerning international students, researchers, faculty and staff.

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Penn State president shares message following executive order on immigration

(Jan. 29, 2017)

Penn State President Eric Barron has shared a message with the University community regarding an executive order signed Friday by U.S. President Donald Trump. Among other impacts, the order has suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days and blocked entry to the United States for at least 90 days for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

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A message to the Penn State community on DACA and sanctuary campuses

(Dec. 23, 2016)

Penn State’s mission is education. We admit students based on their academic achievement and academic promise. Our ultimate goal for all students is to assist them in receiving a world-class education and ultimately a college degree that will support them as they become vital and contributing members of society.

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President Eric Barron shares message in support of DACA

(Nov. 30, 2016)

Last week, Penn State President Eric Barron signed a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) letter together with hundreds of university leaders from across the country urging business, religious and community leaders to call for DACA to be “upheld, continued and expanded.” We understand there are concerns both here at Penn State and across the country about potential changes to DACA, and the University will continue to follow this topic closely.

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Message from President Barron on Presidential Election

(Nov. 10, 2016)

After the longest and most difficult presidential campaign in recent history, the ballots have been counted, the final speeches have been delivered and our nation must begin to heal as we prepare for a peaceful transfer of power. Penn State President Eric Barron shared a message encouraging students, faculty and staff to focus on their roles as part of the Penn State community, and to reflect upon who we are as Penn Staters.

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Contact Information

News and Media Relations
General inquiries during business hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) can be directed to 814-865-7517.

Resources

The following Penn State resources are available to students, faculty and staff members who need assistance or have questions.

Bias Hotline
1-800-560-1637

Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development
814-865-6548

Counseling and Psychological Services
814-863-0395

Ethics and Compliance Hotline
1-800-560-1637

Multicultural Resource Center
814-865-5906

Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
814-865-5906

Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic

Student Legal Services
814-867-4388

Office of Global Programs
814-865-7681

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