In his email to students regarding President Donald Trump’s executive order, I think Sam Olens did exactly what was needed.
First, I think it’s important to remember that the president of Kennesaw State was the state’s attorney until a few months ago. He has a background in politics and knows how to handle himself and others regarding legal matters.
“Please know that the safety and well-being of our campus community are our top priority,” Olens said in his email. “We are closely monitoring this evolving situation and are coordinating with the University System of Georgia and all relevant state and federal agencies.”
That is a very tactful response to a very tense issue, and I don’t see why anyone would expect more.
Yes, the presidents of Harvard, Duke and Yale universities spoke out in opposition to the proposed immigration ban – but those are private institutions. Olens is the president of a public university.
To me, a public institution has no right taking a political stance. It would be more offensive if Olens had taken a hard stance in his email to students, whether it be in support of or in opposition to Trump’s executive order. If he had chosen to lean one way or the other, he would have upset half of KSU’s students either way.
I don’t want my university’s president to enforce his political views on me or my peers, no matter what I personally believe. His job is not to encourage us to fight the ban, nor is it to promote the executive order’s effectiveness.
His job, as president of this university, is to ensure every student has access to the education they have come here to earn.
In his email, Olens explained that KSU officials are working with state and federal agencies to learn more about Trump’s order. Olens told students what to do if they are concerned and offered information about how to get a consultation about their visa status.
He did what was warranted, which was providing the information students needed.
With the country getting in an uproar over every tweet from Trump and press release from the White House, we don’t need any more rallying cries. We don’t need to incite protests, riots or fear.
We need calm, collected approaches to these contentious issues. For once, we need someone to just talk to us among all the yelling.