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Speak Out!

By Kelsey Davis; News Editor
On February 9, 2017

Speak Out! 

Kelsey Davis

News Editor 

On Wednesday, February 8, Plymouth State University held a community forum in the Fireplace Lounge. The forum was meant to spread awareness and information about the controversial immigration ban implemented by President Donald Trump on January 29.

The forum was hosted by several students, faculty members, and professors from Plymouth State. The forum began when Professor Sheryl Shirley, who read the executive order out loud, as well as clarified a few key points within the order. Next, Professor Filiz Ruhm spoke about the difference between what constitutes an immigrant, a refugee, and an asylum seeker. Professor Ruhm also spoke about the vetting process that refugee applicants must go through in order to be considered a refugee and be permitted to reside in a country such as the United States.

The forum was then opened up to the public. Several students spoke about personal experiences they had with immigrants, and how they were appalled by the lack of empathy they saw towards those in need. The main message shown during this time was that there was a desperate need for people everywhere to raise awareness and spread true information about the realities of immigration and the ban.

After several students spoke, Professor Emma Van Ness spoke about the history of immigration bias and the discrimination that many other ethnicities and cultures have faced throughout the years. Professor Shirley shared a list of school resources that students, faculty and professors can use including the Counseling Center.

Student body president Ayla Steere hopes that the public forums will continue. “We want the public forums to be a community driven project, with issues that are close to the student’s hearts.”

Every Wednesday in the Hub there will be meetings during which topics will be brought up and future forums planned. All students are welcome to attend. Student Activities Director Brian Dye said this about the forums, “The Fireplace lounge is essentially the living room of the campus. And that is what we want from these fo- rums. We want them to be like fireside chat throughout the year to speak out on issues that are relevant, and give people the chance to stand out and speak their mind.” 

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