HCC President Joins College Presidents in Expressing Concern Over Executive Order
Howard Community College President Kate Hetherington recently joined more than 600 college and university presidents and chancellors in signing a letter from ACE, the American Council on Education, to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, expressing concerns about the White House executive order issued on January 27, 2017. Dated a few days later, the letter states, “We take seriously the need to safeguard our nation and also the need for the United States to remain the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest students, faculty, and scholars.”
The letter continues, “Our nation can only maintain its global scientific and economic leadership position if it encourages those talented people to come here to study and work.” It also references the importance of ACE, colleges, and universities collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security to craft policies that protect the nation while, at the same time, welcome students, faculty, and scholars.
The letter in its entirety is available for viewing on the ACE website.
In addition to the letter, Dr. Hetherington has also signed the Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and Undocumented Immigrant Students, along with nearly 600 college and university presidents and chancellors. The statement calls for DACA to be upheld, continued, and expanded, citing the "national necessity" of supporting DACA students. The statement also speaks to the contributions of DACA students, who enrich campuses and local communities. The statement and the listing of presidents who have signed are available on the Pomona College website.
In addition, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), which represent the presidents and trustees of the nation’s 1,108 community colleges, sent a joint letter to President Donald Trump urging that he maintain the DACA program. The associations called the program “of vital importance” for providing educational pathways to students.
The letter continued, “As open access institutions, community colleges serve students from all walks of life, and that diversity contributes to greater unity in the communities that we serve. It is a core part of our mission to provide opportunity to all students, and DACA helps support that mission.”
To read the joint letter from AACC and ACCT, visit the AACC website.
Howard Community College has taken additional steps to express support and share information with students impacted by the White House executive order, as well as the DACA, Maryland Dream Act, and undocumented students. Monitors around campus are carrying messages of welcome to students, and Patty Bylsma and her team in the admissions office are available offer assistance. Email messages were also sent to impacted students to invite them to contact that same team for support. Other email messages went out to all students. For students seeking assistance, Patty Bylsma and her team are located in The Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall (RCF), Room 242.
Educating and supporting students continues to be the college's utmost priority. Dr. Hetherington and her leadership team will continue to listen to student concerns and evaluate how best to meet the needs of students, the college, and the community.