Dear AAAFSC colleagues,
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) recently announced that
international students cannot take a full online course load and remain in the
U.S. This creates a dilemma which "will force colleges and
universities into an impossible choice— to reopen prematurely or risk losing
invaluable international students and their contributions—and unnecessarily
endanger both the physical and mental well-being of all students and
faculty." (American Psychological Association [APA]; News release on
According to the Institute of International Education (2019), 1,095,299 international students were in the U.S. in 2018/2019. According to UMBC International Education Services, we had about 900 actively enrolled international students last semester. The board of the Asian and Asian American Faculty and Staff Council want to express our support for international students and colleagues and to share a list of action items with our members. This list is adapted from a statementwritten by the international section of APA CounselingPsychology (dated 6/27/2020). Hyperlinks to relevant sources are embedded. Please check out the resources.
1. Add your signature to petitions/open letter
a. Petition the White House: Allow F-1 students to stay in the US through the fall semester if instruction is online due to the pandemic
b. Connecting our world: Urge Congress to support international students & scholars and protect OPT
c.Change.org: Let international students stay
d. Open Letter Against the Student Ban by faculty at universities and colleges across the U.S.
4. Advocate for our international students and colleagues by (a) recognizing and checking-in with them about the impact of recent proclamations and regulations on our international student community; (b) reaching out to our institution’s international offices and Human Resources offices for resources or a training related to how this proclamation and regulations affect our students and staff; (c) calling out xenophobia; (d) establishing emergency financial and/or legal assistance to support those whose legal statuses were displaced by the current proclamation.
UMBC International Education Services (IES) is hosting a Town Hall meeting for students, faculty and staff on Friday, July 10 at 4pm EST to discuss the situation, share what we know so far, and answer questions as best we can.
Click here to join the IES Virtual Town Hall
Please share questions you would like to have addressed at the Town Hall here (make sure you are signed in to your myUMBC account to access the form):
The AAAFSC board members
Tamara Bhalla, Jiaqi Gong, Fan Yang, Shuyan Sun, Aditya Desai, & Soonhee Lee