We Stand Behind Our International Students
July 9, 2020
Dear Baruch Community,
I am deeply concerned by the federal rule changes regarding international students who are in the U.S. studying on F-1 visas. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced this week that students with F-1 visas must take at least some education in person for a visa to be granted. Historically, students in the U.S. on F-1 visas are barred from taking more than one (fully) online course. As Covid-19 spread and campuses closed, ICE waived that rule in March—until this week’s change.
Meanwhile, owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many universities—including Baruch and CUNY—must consider holding most classes in virtual or hybrid formats for the Fall 2020 semester. As CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez noted in his response to the ruling, “This misguided policy change also threatens to hurt higher education at a time when the nation’s universities are working hard to adjust to the dual health and economic crises caused by the pandemic.” CUNY campuses have thousands of international students whose status is threatened by the new rule. Baruch’s population is about 1,000 strong, proudly one of the largest cohorts in the CUNY system.
I want to assure Baruch’s international students that we stand firmly behind you—the College leadership is working diligently to find ways to accommodate your education at Baruch. The ICE rule is subject to interpretation and is being thoroughly examined by a growing coalition of leaders across Baruch, CUNY, other universities, and national organizations. Having come to the U.S. as an international student myself some 40 years ago, it is important to me personally that you remain on track with your educational goals and professional aspirations.
I will continue to update you on this matter and on Baruch’s plans for fall course delivery and student services. I would also like to remind all students that the Counseling Center is available if you need support. The year 2020 has been profoundly and unusually stressful for us as individuals, a College community, and a nation. During times such as these, it is imperative to take care of ourselves so we can be there for our loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
S. David Wu
President, Baruch College