Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Focus on inclusiveness

When you think about the current political climate in America, it’s probably not a shock that international admissions are down a bit on a national scale. The U.S. isn’t exactly putting on the most accepting of faces on the global stage at the moment.

From travel bans to threats of deportation and the aura of uncertainty around the future of DACA, prospective international students around the world are understandably worried about what kind of reception they might get if they come here to study.

Students from over 70 nations attend Plattsburgh State, making for a very diverse student body. You see it in the faces you pass as you walk to class, and it’s one of the many things that makes PSUC great.

Unfortunately, effects seem to have been felt at PSUC. At the end of the past fall semester, the school’s administration cited falling international student applications as a constraint during its budgetary review. In a faculty senate meeting this past week it was stated that International student applications to PSUC are down 41 percent for this year.

In some ways, there is not a lot we can do. Policies and stances enacted at the national level often can’t be changed instantaneously. Eventually, they can be through who we vote for and whether or not we make our voices heard by our representatives.

What we can do, though, is make PSUC as open and inviting a campus as possible. If we focus on being inclusive and encouraging international students already here, hopefully our college’s reputation as an accepting place for everyone will travel by word of mouth.

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