MC’s Faculty Council Affirms Support for Students and Faculty in Light of Trump Moratorium on Immigration, Travel

MCs Faculty Council Affirms Support for Students and Faculty in Light of Trump Moratorium on Immigration, Travel

Rebecca Anderson

Montgomery College approved a statement regarding the recent executive action limiting travel and immigration, as well as unanimously passed a full recommendation that the college provide resources to fellow MC community members affected by the order.

The statement, released through Inside MC, reads in part, “The Faculty stands by all members of our college community, and we will support our students and colleagues affected by this ban in any way that is open to us.” The statement reaffirms the Faculty’s commitment to each other and to students, as well as demonstrates intent to provide further measures of support through tangible methods.

“We really wanted to both, come out with a statement of support, but also come up with some tangible ways that we could—recognizing again, the idea is not to make a political statement, but to help our students and the people we work with, who we are trying to help succeed,” said Richard Penn, a professor of mathematics and Co–Chair of the Faculty Council.

The idea is to provide fellow MC community members access to reliable information and guidance when attempting to navigate the federal immigration and travel system as a visa holder, international traveler, or non- citizen.

The concept can be compared to a scenario in which one visits with a financial aid counselor when seeking assistance with the FASFA or navigating student loan programs- an informative website is suitable, but an informed human is much more effective, especially considering the stress that accompanies issues such as these.

Penn conveyed that the Council is not taking a political stance on the subject, nor or are they allowed to, but as over 200 students here at Montgomery College were affected by the moratorium. This issue could affect the academic success of those students. There is no conflict in ensuring those students receive every assistance that can be made available.

Even though the topic had been tentatively added to the meeting agenda earlier that week when the executive order was passed, several Council members came prepared to mention the topic during the open discussion held at the conclusion of each council meeting. It was during the February 2nd discussion when council members’ ideas coalesced, bringing about the aforementioned statement and student resource recommendation.

These ideas are meant to be outwards manifestations of the council members’ values of tolerance and inclusion, as well as their commitment to academic excellence and the Montgomery College community. It has not been mentioned whether or not the college will provide the resource options recommended by the Faculty Council, but the Montgomery College President, Dr. Pollard, is aware of the recommendation.

The Faculty Council is a college–wide elected council of approximately twenty members who represent the various constituencies of Montgomery College. This includes part time and full time staff members, counselors, instructional faculty, other standing committees throughout the MC community, and the department chairs from each campus.

The council meets two Thursdays a month from 12:30 to 2:30 on Rockville campus, and the meetings are open; meaning anyone from the MC community is welcome to sit in during each meeting and listen. The Council’s statement was released February 10th through InsideMC, and the link to the full statement can be found below.,_Reaffirms_Values_of_Inclusion_and_Tolerance