The U.S. Presidential Election was held on Tuesday, Nov. 3 and the results have left many international students and scholars questioning “what’s next?” International students and scholars are not eligible to vote in U.S. elections, but either presidential candidate’s platform and policies would have had great impacts on their lives in the future.
“What we do know at this time is that international students and scholars will always be welcome in the University of Utah community,” said Chelsea Wells, director, International Student & Scholar Services, ahead of a virtual town hall meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 4-5:30 p.m. MST.
“Through your presence on our campus, we gain access to your perspective, knowledge, skills and abilities, which results in a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and expertise that would not be obtained otherwise,” continued Wells.
The interactive virtual Town Hall will include a panel discussion to provide updates about the current immigration policy landscape. Panelists will discuss the potential political and immigration impacts regarding the outcome of the election, and answer questions to the best of their ability. All questions and answers will be published on the ISSS website after the event.
“This Town Hall is intended to be interactive, so please plan to participate and ask questions,” prompted Wells. “We value each and every one of you. We understand that recent proposed immigration regulatory changes have been stressful and challenging, but we have seen success in preventing some of the most detrimental changes through litigation and advocacy work. We will continue to support you and do whatever we can to ensure that you have a safe and welcome place at the U and in our Salt Lake City community. Students and scholars will always be welcome here, regardless of country of origin or nationality.”
All University of Utah students, staff and faculty are being asked for their patience in the weeks and months ahead. as we all move through this difficult time. Please be aware that other individuals may hold viewpoints different from your own, but it is still important to practice respectful discourse and educate others about issues that are important to you. Learn from others, and remain empathetic to those who may hold different perspectives.
Throughout October ISSS hosted a four-part U.S. Political Webinar Series that can be watched here. A variety of topics were covered including an overview of the U.S. political system, international student rights and responsibilities, U.S. media and consumerism, and student advocacy. If you are interested in learning more about these topics, we encourage you to watch these sessions.
ISSS is here for you. If you have any questions or concerns, you are welcome to call us at +1 801-581-8876, Monday-Friday, or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org (students) or email@example.com (scholars). In order to best comply with current physical distancing recommendations and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the ISSS physical office is open for ISSS staff, but closed to the public at this time. However, we are still offering advising appointments virtually and by phone. If you feel that you are in distress and need to speak to an ISSS advisor in person, please call us and we can schedule an appointment on a case by case basis. If you need to pick up an immigration document, please call or email us and we will schedule a time for you to collect your documents.
The ISSS website is also a fantastic resource, and you can find information about F and J policies and resources, COVID-19 FAQs, upcoming workshops and webinars, log into our informational portal UAtlas and more. Please visit our website at isss.utah.edu.