On Friday, Jan. 27, the news of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban targeting seven predominantly Muslim countries spread like wildfire across the Brandeis campus. The news rapidly spawned devastation, protests and intense forums of debate across social media platforms.
As of now, the travel ban has been temporarily suspended, and Brandeisians have had much to say about the situation. “The initial reaction when the ban was first instituted was a mess. I’m sure many students, at least a few, have been affected directly by being separated from their families, or not being able to return to the U.S,” Jolie Abrams ’19 said.
While the general consensus is the disapproval of the ban including its intentions and motives, some students on campus who do support the reasonings for the ban still shy away from expressing their views.
“Trump and his administration and his executive orders have already caused such a stir-up within the community, that there are still people in my classes who are fearful of expressing their views. I can imagine that they feel judged,” Abrams said.
The campus dynamic has shifted throughout the election and the presidency, and there have been an increasing number of instances of people and groups on campus coming together at events, protests and talks in order to discuss immigration and the importance of diversity in the future.
“People should not be judged based on their ethnicity—they should be judged based off of their actions. I understand the viewpoints of people who are fearful of terrorism, as it is an extremely important issue, but this is not the way to go about handling terrorism,” Joshua Moll ’19 said.
Brandeis is an especially politically aware institution, with the administration consistently addressing the student body about current events. Within the student community, there is much discussion and debate at protests, at other events and on social media.
“There’s been so much evidence of people being avidly against this action, and I definitely believe it pays off, considering the ban was [temporarily halted]. I think it’s important that people advocate in a way that supports the appeal, instead of simply posting their outrage on Facebook,” Ben Korman ’19 said. “Social media is important, protesting is important. Everything we can do to show our support for the diversity of this country is what will” maintain the court-ordered halt on enforcement, Korman continued.
Communication between those affected by the ban who cannot reenter the United States is routinely done through social media, and many Brandeisians have joined the conversation online. “Due to social media usage at the tips of our fingertips, it’s become so easy to voice opinions and contradict others’ views, even though that is not entirely productive,” Moll said.