President James Dlugos of Saint Joseph’s College joined more than 80 Catholic college and university presidents, who were gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) conference, in signing a statement opposing President Trump’s executive order to ban travel from seven muslim-majority countries.

The January 29 ACCU statement reads, “As the voice of Catholic higher education, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities expresses its strong opposition to the Executive Order signed by President Donald J. Trump concerning U.S. immigration policy. We stand in solidarity with other Catholic and higher education organizations that recognize the moral obligation of our country to assist migrants, particularly those who are fleeing any kind of persecution. In referring to the order’s halt of refugee admissions, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, stated, ‘We believe that now more than ever, welcoming newcomers and refugees is an act of love and hope. … We will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed in collaboration with Catholic Charities, without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans, and to ensure that families may be reunified with their loved ones.’ Pope Francis has said that ‘authentic hospitality is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.’ As ACCU gathers this weekend in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the value of diversity within Catholic higher education, we reaffirm the commitment of our institutions to creating inclusive, welcoming campus environments that embrace people of all faiths and cultures. Catholic higher education was founded precisely to serve the children of Catholic immigrants who in their own time were excluded from higher education. This is a legacy that we proudly pledge to continue.”

In addition to signing his name to this statement, President Dlugos wrote in a January 30 email to students and staff that “As a community fundamentally committed to hospitality through our mission and core values -- faith, excellence, integrity, community, respect, compassion, and justice-- any action that diminishes the dignity of any of our brothers and sisters is a matter of great concern. On an ongoing basis and across a range of curricular, co-curricular, and other structures at the College, issues of justice, dignity, and social justice are a part of our work. The extraordinary nature of this Executive Order and its broad impact calls us to come together as a college community in the effort to better understand what this means for us as a community and as individuals, and particularly as it may affect our students and their families. To that end, we will pursue a number of activities this week focusing on the impact of the Executive Order and its underlying logic from both the immediate and longer perspectives. I encourage each of us to participate in these events, to fully consider what these issues mean in our own lives, in the life of the Saint Joseph’s College community, in the lives of the other communities to which we belong, and in the life of the world.”

Saint Joseph’s College will convene a Teach In for SJC students on Thursday, February 2nd from 1 to 2:45 PM in the Auditorium.