Feature Story

In Support of Students

December 14, 2016 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan University President Rock Jones

Ohio Wesleyan President Signs Petition to Protect Immigrants

Ohio Wesleyan University’s position is clear, President Rock Jones says: “We will vigorously oppose any effort to make it more difficult for students to come to the United States to pursue college degrees.”

Jones, Ph.D., shared his thoughts in a Page 1 article in Sunday’s Columbus Dispatch. To emphasize the University’s support for global educational opportunity, Jones has joined nearly 560 U.S. college and university presidents in signing the “Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students.”

According to the DACA statement, the higher education leaders “are committed to upholding free inquiry and education in our colleges and universities, and to providing the opportunity for all our students to pursue their learning and life goals.”

The issue has gained national attention following the election of Donald Trump as president. Trump has said he plans to eliminate President Barack Obama’s DACA program, which enables nearly 750,000 undocumented immigrant students to remain in the United States to pursue higher educations.

In articulating Ohio Wesleyan’s position of support for immigrant-students, Jones told Dispatch writer Encarnita Pyle:

“Ohio Wesleyan University is committed to educating moral leaders for the global society. Our 1842 charter expresses our foundational belief in welcoming students from all backgrounds, which we have done with open arms for nearly 175 years.

“This fall,” Jones said, “our campus is home to students from nearly every U.S. state and more than 30 countries. We strongly believe a diverse student body adds to the breadth and depth of all learning and is vital to the collective effort to understand and address the world’s most pressing issues.

“Following from this core belief,” Jones concluded, “we will vigorously oppose any effort to make it more difficult for students to come to the United States to pursue college degrees. We will continue to admit students following our longstanding nondiscrimination policies, decline to release confidential student records without permission or legal mandate, and decline to participate in any type of federal student registry based on national origin or other protected characteristics.”

Read the complete Dispatch article, “Ohio colleges vow to protect immigrants,” and view the DACA petition.