GPSA, pictured here during a February meeting.

February 14, 2017

GPSA Passes Resolution on Protection From Trump’s Immigration Ban

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A resolution aimed to “protect students affected” by the Trump administration’s immigration ban was passed by the Graduate Professional Student Assembly Monday.

Labelled as a “proactive calling” by Vice President of Communications and Biological Sciences Representative Manisha Munasinghe grad, Resolution 9 aims to ensure that the Cornell Graduate School is “committed to current and future students.”

“We ask that students be able to maintain academic standing and that Cornell provide sufficient resources for students to complete their degrees,” said Alex Loiben grad, voting member and physical sciences representative.

Resolution 9 further states that the GPSA calls upon the Graduate School to “make every effort to ensure continued financial support — including but not limited to teaching assistantships and research assistantships — of students affected by such executive orders.”

“If students, faculty, grad students and workers in all capacities are not able to come to campus or if there is a future similar type of executive order, we want to make sure that students can still complete their degree in a reasonable manner,” Loiben said.

Loiben emphasized that the GPSA wants to ensure that the University is “just as committed as before” to helping graduate students affected by the executive order.

“We’re thinking of things such as alternative accommodations for internships or externships, or summer positions or different field study opportunities as resources for those affected,” Loiben said.

Both Loiben and Munasinghe referred to Resolution 9 as an addendum to Resolution 8 and a means to convey the GPSA’s “appreciation to the Cornell administration.”

“We know that the graduate school had sent a letter to all departments that they should not take nationality or country of origin into consideration for applications and that they should treat every student as they normally would regardless of the federal policy that’s existing on the matter,” Loiben said.

The GPSA also voted to table discussion on Resolution 12, a proposal to raising funds for transporting students to the March for Science event on April 22 in Washington, D.C., until its meeting on March 6.