April 7 Message to Campus: You Are Welcome Here

To Our Faculty, Staff, and Students:

When a Jan. 27 executive order upended all sense of normalcy for our international community four years ago, Case Western Reserve came together.

From the hand-lettered signs of support outside a Jan. 30 meeting in Ford Auditorium, to the #YouAreWelcomeHereCWRU campaign that followed, your actions powerfully demonstrated our collective commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Sadly, today’s crisis demands that we unite once again to underscore our core values. While the COVID-19 pandemic attacks anyone in its path, some continue to blame its spread on specific groups.

Those who appear to be of Asian descent have faced physical attacks, hate speech and harassment. Last month groups in California launched a national reporting center; yesterday Minnesota’s governor established a hotline (two weeks ago, New York’s attorney general did the same).

As many of you know, international students represent the overwhelming majority of those still living on campus. As frightening as this time is for everyone, think of them enduring it so far from family… with little certainty of when they might be able to go home… and news of xenophobia in the U.S.

We can help—and we should.

While public health concerns prevent us from gathering in person to offer encouragement, the Center for International Affairs has called on the community to record video messages of support, and email the clips to global@case.edu for compilation.

We also ask that you help revive the #YouAreWelcomeHereCWRU hashtag, not only for our international students here, but also those across the globe who would welcome greater connection to the campus. Add in shout-outs to our international faculty, staff and alumni—the more we include, the better.

I look forward to seeing your creativity on camera and in tweets, and hope these steps are just the start.

With gratitude to all of you,

Barbara R. Snyder