March 2, 2017
In a Feb. 28 email to the Hamilton community, President David Wippman announced that Hamilton will continue supporting international students impacted by President Trump’s unpredictable federal immigration policies through a joint endeavor with Colgate University. In response to Trump’s policies, international students at both institutions may need to alter their summer travel and employment plans. Wippman and Colgate president Brian Casey stated that the schools will pool their resources in an effort to aid students searching for American employment and housing opportunities this summer. Both presidents also pledged to provide guidance and legal assistance to graduating international students whose post-college plans may be impacted by Trump’s policies.
As suggested by Wippman and Casey’s email, the unpredictable trajectory of Trump’s immigration policies have been a major source of anxiety and upset across the United States. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a restraining order on the Immigration Ban. Trump’s appeal of the restraining order will most likely head to the Supreme Court, although The Wall Street Journal and CNN predict that the ban may undergo some changes before then.
This joint aid endeavor is the most recent of several efforts put forth by the college to support students since the Jan. 27 Executive Order. President Wippman first pledged to provide advice, guidance and support for those affected by the ban in a Jan. 30 email to the Hamilton community. He reiterated this pledge in his Facebook Live interview with Senior Class President Silvia Radulescu ’17 the following day. Most recently, Hamilton brought in Immigration Attorney Helen Konrad ’84 to host an informational overview of Trump’s policies and the immediate aftermath followed by a question and answer session. Konrad also hosted a separate, more in depth question and answer session with Hamilton’s international students.
While Hamilton and Colgate’s friendly athletic rivalry dominates most student conversations about the two schools, the joint aid initiative is not the only collaborative endeavour between them. Since 2010, they have put on the Colgate University- Hamilton College Economics series for students. Hamilton and Colgate also work together on a series of administrative, academic and student affairs programs within the New York 6 Liberal Arts Consortium alongside Union College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Cornell University and St. Lawrence University.
As Wippman and Casey point out, this joint effort initiative is possible because Hamilton and Colgate share more than geographic location. “We take these steps together because we believe that values of diversity, tolerance and community are central to our educational mission as liberal arts institutions,” wrote Wippman and Casey. “We look forward to working together in support of all Colgate and Hamilton students, faculty and staff in these ways and in future joint endeavors.”