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ONLINE: March for Solidarity takes over campus

by Kiara Alfonseca - Editor-in-Chief
Mon, Feb 6th 2017 12:00 pm
Ahsen Yuksel speaking to demonstrators.
Ahsen Yuksel speaking to demonstrators.
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On Monday, Feb. 6, the Brockport Muslim Student Association, The Movement, and students representing organizations from across the campus came together in the Seymour College Union Lobby to prepare for a march across campus. The march comes in response to President Donald Trump's executive orders - which have since been halted - concerning his travel ban, including seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan.

Creating a supportive environment on campus among students of all backgrounds, nationalities and faiths was a key message for march organizers.

Ahsen Yuksel, a student of Turkish descent, spoke at the rally when it reached Dailey Hall, home to the Office of International Education.

"Thank you for supporting us [Muslim students] and walking with us," Yuksel told the crowd. "Please don't give up. Just keep going with us on this journey."

Chants of "no hate, no fear. Refugees are welcome here," as well as "build bridges, not walls," led the group through campus; down Kenyon Street, down Holley Street, and back up through the lower quad, with a pit stop at Dailey Hall.

Students and faculty gathered to support students who feel discriminated against due to Trumps' orders. The College at Brockport hosts more than 100 full-time international students; this ban has affected students across the Greater Rochester area and beyond. Students across the country with visas and green cards (with dual-citizenships in the aforementioned seven countries) were detained as they came back into the country following winter break for many colleges.

With a petition to make SUNY campuses "sanctuary campuses" that vow to protect immigrant and refugee students finding its away around SUNY students, there is great focus on administrators and how they are addressing the issue throughout the colleges and universities. This petition will be headed to the SUNY Board of Trustees from the institution's Student Assembly.

Chancellor Nancy Zimpher released a statement on January 29 concerning the executive order: The State University of New York enrolls approximately 22,140 international students from 180 countries, including 320 students from the seven countries affected by the current ban on travel. SUNY is reviewing President Trump's Executive Order and surveying its campuses to determine the impact it may have on our students, faculty, and staff both abroad and at home on our 64 college and university campuses."

Associate Director of International Student Recruitment Aleta Anthony spoke at the gathering in front of her office.  

"Everyone is welcome," Anthony said. "If you need anything, our office is also here for support. Keep up what you're doing."

BMSA will continue to host events to host events throughout the semester to promote education of the Islam faith, Muslim community and its people. They recently hosted the World Hijab Day, which you can read about on our website.


Photo of the Week

Taken by Mathieu Starke, staff photographer

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