When leaving the U.S. to go to Turkey during spring break in 2015, Osama Ahmed, a 2016 College and Wharton graduate, was approached by two men in muscle t-shirts. They demanded that he follow them, and they opened their jackets to reveal guns and police badges.
In January alone, three bills have been proposed in Congress to curb the H-1B visa program. Potential changes include increasing the minimum salaries of H-1B visa holders from $60,00 to $130,000 and changing the visa lottery system to a “preference system” that would give priority to students educated in the U.S.
The letter is direct: "We write as presidents of leading American colleges and universities to urge you to rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country’s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world," it reads.
The purpose of the march was to both protest Trump’s Executive Order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations and to show solidarity with members of the Penn community affected by the order.
The group was started by two pro-choice students who said they wish “to offer fact-based pro-choice resources for reproductive rights advocates,” according to the group’s description on Facebook.
Students at the discussion commented on the pink “pussyhats” worn by protesters at the Women’s March. Some were concerned that the hats were not inclusive of transgender women, while others cited the importance of the hats as a symbol of unified opposition to President Donald Trump.
“The impacts of fading Obamacare are especially dangerous for both women and young people,” College freshman Lucy Ma said.
At Penn — where sexual assault has long been the focus of both student activism and administrative attention — potential rollback of federal guidelines on sexual misconduct is unlikely to have any serious impact.
College and Wharton freshman Michael Moroz said the University should not take a stance on political issues, such as Trump's executive order on immigration, because it “threatens to alienate students who hold reasonable but different beliefs from many on this campus.”
Holding white flowers handed out during the gathering, participants stood silently while speakers stepped up to the microphone one by one to share their messages of solidarity.
American Constitutional Law professor Rogers Smith wrote, “Neil Gorsuch has elite credentials — the son of a Cabinet official and a graduate of Columbia and Harvard Law, like Barack Obama with whom he overlapped in law school.”
“If you’re open you should be open to hearing people’s differences and move on,” one Wharton student said. “I like to consider myself a feminist, and being pro-life shouldn’t take that away.”
After the inauguration of 1968 Wharton grad President Donald Trump, Laurie Allen, assistant director for digital scholarship for the libraries, said the “sense of urgency is stronger” to support DataRefuge and similar projects.
In his statement, he cited a conference this March that many from these Muslim-majority countries will not be able to attend and said that Trump's ban will “stifle the intellectual discourse to which we aspire.”
The junior senator of New Jersey and former mayor of Newark has recently emerged as one of the most vocal adversaries of the Trump administration.
The letter condemns these bans, stating that Trump's policies seek to "displace our classmates and separate us from our teachers and friends."
Students at Penn from the banned countries now face a heartbreaking choice: remain in the United States indefinitely, unable to travel home and see their families, or forfeit the Penn education they spent years working towards.
The federal policy, signed on Friday by President Trump, a 1968 Wharton graduate, imposes a 90-day ban on immigrant and nonimmigrant entry to the United States from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The speakers focused on changes the media underwent during the 2016 presidential campaign. Reid said it's now an environment of “constant chaos,” in which a consistent inflow of new scandals and stories distracts journalists from stories they would rather cover.
Nine professors at Penn joined hundreds of educators across the country to sign an open letter saying that Carson is “completely unqualified to promote appropriate solutions to the pressing housing and urban development needs facing our country.”