The University joined 30 colleges and universities in a joint amicus brief calling on the Supreme Court to uphold the lower Courts of Appeals decision to strike down the executive order announced by the Trump Administration in January. This executive order suspended the entry of refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.
In the brief, the University stated that “providing an excellent undergraduate education to all students requires a firm and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.” It also cited the benefits that international students have brought to the campus learning environment since admitting the University’s first international student, Maung Shaw Loo of Burma, a country now known as Myanmar, in 1858.
“Bucknell is committed to continuing to encourage these individuals to join its community and fulfilling its mission to foster an environment in which students develop intellectual maturity, personal conviction, and strength of character, informed by a deep understanding of different cultures and diverse perspective,” the brief said.
These statements echoed those articulated in an email circulated by University President John Bravman following the executive order in January, through which he emphasized support available to international students and faculty.
“Bucknell will continue to extend its full support to its international students and colleagues, and I will stand with other leaders across higher education who seek to oppose this EO’s overreaching measures which are antithetical to our community’s values and, more broadly, our mission as an institution of higher learning,” Bravman said in the email.
The brief underscores the positive influences and contributions that international students, staff, and faculty bring to American universities, and in return how positively an American education can influence international students.
“Though amici are located in the U.S., their missions and reach are global: they educate, employ, conduct research, and collaborate with students, faculty, and scholars from all over the world — individuals who speak different languages, practice different religions, and have wide-ranging life experiences,” the brief said. “So too, by studying and engaging with other scholars in the U.S., these individuals gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the values we hold dear, including democratic principles and respect for the rule of law, tolerance, and human rights—values which they may then share with citizens of their home countries.”
Additionally, the brief argues that colleges and universities benefit from the inclusion of international faculty, staff, and students, and that the executive order contradicts the missions of involved universities, and even those of the United States as a whole, to preserve and uphold the rights of equality and freedom of religion.