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We Oppose Federal Guidance on International Students

A statement from ESU President Allison D. Garrett on new federal guidelines concerning international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities.

July 9, 2020

Dear Hornet Nation,

Many of you have heard in the media of the newly proposed Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidelines impacting international students studying in the United States.

As we have planned for the fall 2020 semester, the safe return of our students, faculty and staff has been paramount. Under the new SEVP guidelines, visas will be cancelled or denied to international students should courses shift fully online at any time. This new development is forcing our international students to make difficult choices about whether to return to campus or stay home.

I want our Emporia State community — students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends — to know that we believe this federal policy is ill-advised and extremely disruptive to our international students’ educational goals.

We will continue to monitor these guidelines, as well as a federal lawsuit about them filed by other universities. Right now, this is what we know:

  • Emporia State plans to launch face-to-face classes on August 17 and move to remote classes and finals on November 30. These plans align with the guidelines and allow our international students to study on campus.
  • Students who choose to study remotely with ESU from their home countries may do so under the SEVP guidance and may return to campus in January.
  • International students who return to ESU for the fall, as in the past, may stay in the United States over the winter break.

To our international students, please know that you are an important part of Hornet Nation. I wish this situation were not so complex for you. We are here for you and will continue to advise you if you study on campus or from home. To that end, please contact the Office of International Education ( right away so we can help you with planning.


Allison D. Garrett