From Feb. 5 to Feb. 12, two Clemson professors began a Fast Against Silence, in protest of President Trump’s executive order preventing immigrants and refugees from 7 predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika and Dr. Todd May began the fast on Sunday, Feb. 5 on the steps of Sikes Hall, where Clemson’s Office of the Registrar is located. The professors reportedly invited faculty, staff and students to partake in their movement.
Greenville Online, a division of the USA Today network, reported that Dr. May feels Clemson is not doing their students and alumni justice by just denouncing the travel ban.
He argued that by not calling on Trump to remove his executive order, as other South Carolina schools such as Wofford College and Winthrop University have done, “The university is simply not meeting its moral responsibilities to its students, its alumni and the field of higher education.”
Greenville Online also interviewed Clemson University President Jim Clements, who attests that the university’s board declines to comment on political issues. President Clements issued a statement to Greenville Online saying, “We had a whole bunch of information sessions this past week to talk about the executive order and what it means and to help the students, faculty and staff in any way that we can.”
Nazanin Zinouri would certainly appreciate that.
Zinouri, a data scientist in Greenville, South Carolina who graduated from Clemson with a doctorate in industrial engineering and received the university’s Janine Anthony Bowen Graduate Fellow award last year, was denied entry to the United States after visiting family in Iran.
Zinouri wrote a personal article about the incident for the Washington Post, within which she remembers that “People were watching. Some passengers were frustrated that the boarding process was getting delayed. It might have been embarrassing, in other circumstances, but I was just numb.”
For Kumanyika and Todd, situations like Zinouri’s are not only unacceptable, but disgraceful to Clemson University and to America, a country founded upon its ideals of welcoming people of all nations and backgrounds.