Institutional News

Statement on the Executive Order on Immigration

Today, President Mariko Silver sent the following memo to the Bennington community.

TO: The Bennington Community
FR: Mariko Silver, President

On Friday, the White House released an executive order regarding immigration policy. Among the changes the order declared is an immediate 90-day ban on entry into the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, as well as restrictions on the admission of refugees.

This order runs contrary to Bennington’s core values. Bennington College is committed to the free exchange of ideas—across disciplines, across cultures, across continents. As we state in our vision for institutional pluralism and inclusion, “the College affirms the intersecting identities of all its community members—students, faculty, staff, and alumni—and recognizes their contributions to the vitality of our unique living and learning environment.” Beyond our immediate concerns for the Bennington community, we are also deeply concerned about the order’s chilling effects more broadly.

The impact of this order, particularly its impact on higher education, is unclear as events are moving quickly and still unfolding. We are working with individual members of the community who may be directly affected by the order and will continue to assess the situation as it develops.

We will continue to provide resources to help concerned students, faculty, and staff understand and navigate the implications of the executive order. If students have questions about their particular circumstances, they should not hesitate to contact Kate Child, director of first-year experience and international student services, at 802-753-2491 for guidance or support. Faculty should contact the Provost and Dean’s Office with questions and staff should be in touch with Human Resources.