The executive order by President Trump that sought to halt immigration from refugees
and citizens of seven countries sparked protests across college campuses the past couple weeks.
Colleges from across the nation have made statements that clearly state that they will not
allow the President’s order to endanger the livelihood of its students and will protect them.
We are heartened that here at MCC, President Nesbary has joined in that chorus with his
public announcement on the topic, saying that MCC administrators will closely watch the
progress of the order and continue to make sure students have the resources they need to feel
Further, we hope that Nesbary will follow the lead of several colleges that have embraced
the "sanctuary" moniker and declared that immigration agents will need a court order to step foot
onto their campuses.
Public statements such as Nesbary’s from academicians around the country, have sparked
a debate across the country. Do higher education authorities have the right – moreso a
responsibility – to go against an order of the President of the United States, when they believe it
to be a danger to students or a violation of their student’s rights.
We at the Bay Window encourage the discussion of such topics. Above all else, we as
students have the right to feel safe in our own college. In addition, college campuses provide
students a platform to openly discuss the issues that we as Americans face today. As adults, we
also have a right to voice our support or opposition to government. It’s one of our basic rights of
However, we have noticed a clear divide in the nation, and even on this campus, on what
to think of Trump’s order and wondering what he will do next. We believe that the responsibility
of the colleges to provide a safe space, as well as the right of students to make our voices known.
MCC, although small compared to most colleges, has always been a space where students
can protest, discuss, and debate current issues without fear of retribution. No matter what
happens over the next couple weeks, and four years, the integrity of the college as a safe and
open environment for students should never be threatened.
The exact impact that any new orders will have on college campuses is unclear at this
point. MCC and all other colleges should not act without all the information, but what is
important is that students and colleges begin discussing these matters.
Through discussion, a college can act based on the needs of the students. Protests,
marches, rallies, and debates all seek one goal: to have voices heard. Only when we encourage
discussion do we know what the students are thinking and worrying about.
As journalists, we follow these widely quoted words: “I may not always agree with what
you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
While most of us may not be directly affected by the immigration ban, we will always
have the right to stand up for the rights of others and to defend what they believe to be right.
Standing up for others is more than a right. It’s a necessity.