MONMOUTH, ILLINOIS (July 14, 2020) — Monmouth College President Clarence R Wyatt sent the follow e-mail to students and their families about The Student and Exchange Visitor Prorgam.
To the Students & Families of Monmouth College:
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), among other things, sets regulations for international students studying at American colleges and universities. On Monday, July 6, 2020, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced a change in this program, to be effective for the fall 2020 semester, mandating that international students who are studying at institutions that have decided to offer their fall semesters entirely on line may not remain in the US unless they transfer to institutions that are offering at least a portion of their semesters in residence. The announcement also states that if an institution that opens fully in residence or in a hybrid model is required to switch to fully on-line instruction, the student must transfer to another institution that is operating in residence or hybrid, or otherwise leave the United States.
The statement from ICE offers no national security or public-health rationale for this change, so the reasoning behind it is unclear. What is clear is the undue burden that this will place on young people who have chosen to come to our country to pursue their higher educations, a choice they made because the United States offers a higher-education experience of great variety and strength. Many schools are speaking out against this guidance and our voice is among them. These young people enrich the community at Monmouth College and at institutions across the country so, even now, we are reaching out to our international students individually so that we can offer help, even as we continue working to find the best advice available.
Monmouth College is preparing to offer its classes in residence this fall, so our students will not be directly affected by ICE's statement. But in the event that the pandemic should require a shift to fully remote instruction, our international students would be adversely affected. We will stand with our international students and do all that we can to help them continue their educations, and we hope that this policy change will be re-considered and reversed.
Dr Clarence R. WyattPresident