KINGSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Students, faculty and staff at the University of Rhode Island were invited to gather Wednesday morning for a rally supporting members of the community who may be affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, suspending the admission of refugees to the United States for 120 days and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely.
The mission behind the rally was to “affirm community values of acceptance and inclusion, and to communicate to all members of the University community that they have a right to be at the University, regardless of nationality or immigration status”.
An open mic was offered for anyone to share thoughts and responses, as the group gathered at the university’s Memorial Student Union. First to be given the floor by organizers was president David Dooley: “We are here to do a couple of things: one, I think, is to acknowledge the importance, at times like these, of recognizing the anxiety and uncertainty that afflict — to a degree, all of us, but certainly some members of our community more than others. To acknowledge that, and position ourselves to be of whatever assistance we can be to those members of our community who feel threatened or just simply very uncertain about their future.
“The second thing is to acknowledge: we don’t know how this is going to evolve. … In times like this, it’s more important to stand up for what our core values are,” Dooley said.
The event resulted from a “grass-roots effort” from community members opposed to the executive order.