Rutgers English Department News

To our students and colleagues,

Most of you will by now have heard about the Trump administration’s most recent outrage: a change to immigration policy that makes it more difficult for F-1 visa-holders to retain their immigration status at universities that have decided to go primarily or fully online this coming semester.

We denounce this cynical and abhorrent attempt to force universities into line with the administration’s destructive down-playing of the epidemic, and the xenophobia that stands so transparently behind the policy. We reiterate our support for the international students who are a central component of our community and our excellence.

The department leadership is in daily touch with the administration, and we have urged the university to fight this order with every legal and financial means it has. This is an unfolding situation, and we are tracking the developments daily. Those are occurring on multiple levels: we have been encouraged to see that Harvard and MIT have launched a lawsuit against the Trump administration, and we are hopeful that this may bear some fruit at the level of national policy. The Rutgers Global office has recently issued guidance for how this may be navigated at the departmental level, and we expect this guidance to evolve as they interpret the policy and develop strategies. We have also heard from SAS Dean Peter March, who commits to creating a path for our international students to continue (and in some cases begin) their education at Rutgers (here). In the meantime, we stand with our AAUP-AFT chapter’s vow to fight this policy, and encourage you to sign the petition they circulated yesterday.

We are in close touch with our international students, and vow to do our utmost to protect them from the effects of this policy. Those students are of course encouraged to contact the Graduate Office at any time with questions and concerns as we continue to track and fight this.

In solidarity,

Rebecca Walkowitz, Chair

David Kurnick, Director of Graduate Study