Dear Roanoke College Community,
I am writing to you to let you know about new regulations that adversely affect Roanoke College international students. This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced modifications to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant college and university students taking online classes for the fall 2020 semester.
Under the new regulations, created amid the COVID-19 pandemic, international students who are unable to return to campus because of border closures, entry bans or personal health concerns, cannot take classes online from their home countries.
If Roanoke College were to move to completely online courses mid-semester, then students would not be able to move to online courses and stay in the United States as they were allowed to this spring. In effect, this rule restricts international students from continuing to study alongside their domestic peers.
We join the many colleges and universities across the country who stand opposed to these new regulations.
We have contacted all of our international students and are working to find ways to support, inform and advocate for them as we work to address these new regulatory obstacles.
These new regulations do not reflect Roanoke College’s commitment to the health, safety, and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff in the midst of this global pandemic.
Our international students bring unique perspectives, opinions and experiences to our campus, and are a vital part of Roanoke College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
We will do everything we can to ensure our international students remain members of the Roanoke College student body.
President Michael Maxey