Bemidji Pioneer: BSU faculty organization condemns Trump travel ban

BEMIDJI—The Bemidji State University Faculty Association on Thursday released a statement opposing President Donald Trump’s late January executive order barring travel or immigration to the United States from predominantly Muslim countries.

According to a release, BSU faculty leaders unanimously approved the following statement, which reads, in part:

“The Bemidji State Faculty Association condemns the recent travel ban instituted by the Trump administration against citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and the accompanying suspension of the United States’ refugee program.

“This measure explicitly targets our colleagues and students based on their nationality, contradicting the values of inclusivity, equality and factual thinking that define us, as a profession and as a Bemidji community. It also reinforces a culture of exclusion that affects our colleagues and students who are Muslims, immigrants and refugees.”

On Jan. 31, just four days after Trump issued the executive order, Faith Hensrud, president of BSU and Northwest Technical College, sent a message to the campus communities, outlining their commitment to student safety, respect and a welcoming campus environment.

“As members of our learning community, we ask that you remain vigilant and stand up for anyone who may be treated in ways that go against our shared values,” Hensrud wrote in the statement. “If any of you as students have concerns with behavior toward you or anyone else, I urge you to talk with your faculty or members of our senior staff.”

In Thursday’s release, BSUFA President Derek Webb praised Hensrud statement, and added, “BSU Faculty is a diverse group of outstanding professionals, and we are determined to stand behind our international students, colleagues, and families to make sure that their voices are heard. Our faculty remain committed to creating a campus climate that values inclusion and acceptance regardless of religion or immigration status. We are united in this important work.”

The BSUFA is part of Inter Faculty Organization, the union that represents approximately 3,000 full- and part-time faculty at Minnesota’s seven state universities.