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Wichita State Issues Statement Of Support To International Students, Faculty

Wichita State University International Admissions

Wichita State University is offering a message of support to its international students and employees following the president’s executive order on immigration.

Wichita State has 41 students who are from the seven countries whose citizens are temporarily banned from entering the U.S.

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an order banning entry for nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

WSU’s Executive Director of International Education Vince Altum is reaching out to those students to provide information and support.

"Luckily, most of our students arrived for the spring semester already, so they weren’t impacted," Altum says. "We’re not expecting students to really have a negative impact until some point later on this semester when they need or want to go home."

Altum says most of these international students are in graduate programs.

He’s advising the students not to leave the U.S.

"Right now we’re telling students just to hold tight until we have better clarity on what is going to happen in the future," Altum says.

Of the more than 14,000 students at WSU, about 1500 are international students.

The school also employs 71 international faculty and staff members who are here on visa status. Total employment at WSU is 2,683, according to the university.

Student leaders are planning a rally for Tuesday at WSU’s Rhatigan Student Center to offer solidarity to the university’s international, Muslim and refugee students. The rally will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Wichita State University President John Bardo released the following statement:

The United States, the state of Kansas and Wichita State University are all stronger because of those who have come from throughout the world to study, teach and work. We embrace the diversity that international students, faculty and staff bring to learning, innovation and entrepreneurship on our campus. Intelligence, talent, work ethic and achievement recognize no borders. We want to be clear that international students are welcome at Wichita State and we're communicating our concerns to federal policymakers. Wichita State University is committed to serving as a resource and support for all students, faculty and staff who need our help. Today our Office of International Education advised students from the seven countries affected by President Trump's order remain in the U.S. until immigration policy is clear. Rest assured we will do everything we can to enable our students to continue their education and our faculty and staff to continue their important work. Affected students and WSU employees may contact the WSU Office of International Education for further information.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.