By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer
As students, staff, and faculty signed on to their Zimbra email accounts on January 29, all would find a university-wide message with Trump’s executive order already taking action and hitting us close to home.
Two of our professors here at UMass Dartmouth were on their way home from a conference in Paris, when they were detained by the United States Customs and Border Control officers at Boston’s Logan airport.
It is crazy to think that our school was already being affected and that it was an airport most Massachusetts residents use during their travels.
For those of you who are not familiar with Trump’s newest order, this rule has restricted people entering the United States by seven foreign countries. As we learned both teachers were legal residents and do have green cards.
This makes you wonder why the law would hinder them from coming home, and that the law needs to be relooked at and restructured, so this does not happen again.
UMass Dartmouth did an exquisite job when the case went mainstream, doing whatever they could to get their staff back home safely.
The first step the university took was to locate the professors, a logical step in trying to figure out what was happening.
UMass Dartmouth worked all night, even into the early morning, to stay in contact with the professors.
Furthermore, what is reassuring is that they also notified federal authorities and representatives.
I feel that sending an email to students, staff, and faculty after all was settled was a great form of communication.
Instead of sweeping it under the table, they shared with us the procedures that went on that day.
UMass Dartmouth took the right path because they went above and beyond to keep the professors calm and the community in touch.
It was also said that the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts became involved in the matter.
It was not until after three long hours later that the professors were released that evening.
As we know, the order was put in place in the efforts to try and keep the United States safe (according to President Trump).
However, I think that there needs to be a better process for those who have green cards and are U.S. Citizens.
If not, we are likely to see more issues arise such as this one. It puts innocent people at risk of being detained.
It is such a good feeling to know that our school is up and ready with a plan when crisis calls.
It makes students, staff, and faculty feel safe and connected.
UMass Dartmouth really does work together as a community and their outreach efforts are notably highlighted here. From a student’s perspective, I feel UMass Dartmouth has a strong communication base and communication is key in anything. So, by having this form of action already in order, it helps when in times of need.
Looking to the future, I feel that the University will always be ready to act and will do all they can in preventing this from happening again.
Our professors, staff, and faculty are pivotal to the learning of students and in order to make our students successful, we need the diverse cultures to help expand our learning and bring it to the next level.
With that said, thank you for bringing our professors home safe — and for keeping us connected as a community.