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President Grigsby Responds to Petition: Flag to Remain at Full-Mast

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Moravian College President Bryon Grigsby responded this afternoon to a petition to fly the American flag on campus at half-mast. The petition — which was signed by nearly 300 faculty, students, and alumni, among others — was in protest of President Trump’s recent executive order to ban the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States.

The full text of President Grigsby’s response, as sent via email to the Moravian College community at 1:56 pm, follows:

Dear Moravian Community,

I appreciate the passionate concern expressed for our international students, faculty, and community in light of the recent presidential executive order temporarily barring entry into the United States from seven specific countries. I believe deeply that our strength as a college community and society increases as we embrace diversity. We are a stronger country because of our immigrant roots, and we are a stronger college because of our international students.

I have given the petition to fly the flag at half-staff a great deal of consideration, and while I recognize the interest in a visual institutional response, I do not believe this action is the correct response for Moravian College, nor do I believe it will result in the desired message. I think doing so would continue to further divide us as a college and a nation by favoring one ideology over another and requiring us to explain what we mean by the action. It would continue to distract us from the main issues facing our college, and this country, and pit individual against individual. Finally, it is often a misunderstanding that the flag can be flown at half-staff at the will of a college president or other local official, which is not the case. For clarification regarding the Flag Code, and issuance of an order to lower the flag to half-staff as a memorial salute, please see http://www.usflag.org/nffhalfstaff.html

I will continue to advocate for the rights of international students, scholars, and staff to study and travel freely in the United States.

We are also exploring an initiative where we place banners of celebration in the hands of the Comenius statue. These banners would praise our educational history, mission and values.

I encourage all of you to seek out your elected representatives and let them know how you feel about the issues before our country. I also encourage you to support those within our community who are made to feel uncomfortable by these policy changes, and those that advocate a different position. Please show them what an inclusive, caring community looks and feels like–one where they can openly debate diverse issues and opinions and still remain collegial. We have done this since 1742. May we remain true to that sentiment now and in the future.

Thank you,
Bryon Grigsby

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “President Grigsby Responds to Petition: Flag to Remain at Full-Mast”

  1. Michael Behler on February 3rd, 2017 4:27 pm

    This is the correct response. Lowering the flag for this situation is very inappropriate

    [Reply]

  2. Brian W. Smith on May 1st, 2017 10:00 pm

    Ok now why do they want the flag lowered because there exteme liberals who are against our 45th presidents policys. Ok I see all these posters in Comenius against the travel ban claiming its a muslim ban. It is a temporary ban on the top seven nations that are the leading state sponsers of terror. These smaller countries don’t have the very large muslim population like Turkey and Jordan. If Donald Trump really set out to ban muslims then wouldn’t he choose the countries with the biggest populations. Also this is a temporary 90 day ban under which the United States can check computer records and other sources to avoid any one coming into our country who has extreme radical beliefs and can kill americans. Also the refugees coming from Syria into America. ISIS plans to infiltrate this program like they did in France and we all know what happened there. Wouldn’t it be safe to put up with a little inconvenience and then hopefully prevent some terrorists coming in under a weak immagrations system. If a small 90 pause in immigration can save even 1 life it is well worth it. For now
    the travel ban was put on hold by a lower court Obama appointee but hopefully it can be overturned in a higher court and we can make our country a safer place for people of all religons and ethnicities.

    [Reply]

  3. Brian W. Smith on May 1st, 2017 10:08 pm

    I personally agree with 80% of his decisions and especially cracking down on illegal immigration. He also has set forward many projects like the Keystone pipeline, the Dakota access pipeling and helping get rid of excessive rgulations so businesses can expand and grow in our country and employ new workers. Also a conservative Judge in Neil Gorsech and sending education back to the state control is a great idea. Ive never seen a president work at such a fast pace to keep his promises. Most politicians talk a good game and forget about half the stuff they promised. If anything I think because of Trumps policies the flag should be extended further up the pole not lowered.

    [Reply]

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