On February 15, Georgetown’s Faculty Senate released an official resolution condemning President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The statement cited the impact the order will have on Georgetown students, faculty and staff.
In addition to condemning the executive order, the resolution called on the Georgetown community to assist refugees.
“We also recognize the obligation to assist refugees, particularly those fleeing persecution, and embrace America’s proud tradition of doing so,” the statement read.
The faculty’s statement is the latest in a series of actions at Georgetown surrounding Trump’s executive immigration order. In the past month, dozens of student organizations, faculty members and administrators at Georgetown have publicly condemned the Trump administration for what they view as a discriminatory policy.
The Faculty Senate’s resolution called on students to “contact their elected members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives” urging the administration to withdraw the executive order.
To some, this overtly political statement made by a group that claims to represent the Georgetown community is problematic.
John Hasnas, a professor in the McDonough School of Business and the Chair of the Grievance Committee, called the executive order “morally indefensible” but argued that this call for political action may be inappropriate.
“Georgetown University is a diverse community that includes people with a wide variety of political and ideological positions,” he told The Georgetown Review. “Many of the students, faculty, and staff may in good faith support President’s Trump’s position on the need for a travel ban. I strongly believe that all members of the Georgetown community should act in accordance with their conscience.”
While Professor Hasnas expressed concerns about the statement, he personally believes that its points are legitimate.
“As a matter of my personal opinion, I agree with almost all of what is contained in the statement issued by the Faculty Senate,” he said. “I personally believe that the President’s executive order is morally indefensible.”
Still, he argued that it is “entirely inappropriate” for the faculty of Georgetown University to urge students to act against their political beliefs.
“Having said that, I am disappointed that the Faculty Senate mischaracterized the executive order in its statement. There is no need to misrepresent it as a ban based purely on religion to criticize it, and doing so significantly undermines the credibility, and hence the effectiveness, of the faculty senate’s statement.”
Speaking on this issue earlier this month, President Degioia released a statement claiming that the travel ban contradicts the values of Georgetown University.
“The implications of this order are significant and concerning,” he said. “We are an institution that values the contributions of our international students, staff, and faculty, and we are deeply committed to interreligious dialogue and providing a context in which members of all faith backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to practice their faith.”