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July 7: Message from President Washington Supporting Our 500 Internal Server Error

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July 7, 2020

Dear Patriots,

This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it would discontinue visa exceptions for international students on F-1 visas who take all of their courses for the semester online. This decision could force hundreds of thousands of international students to leave the United States and threatens to interrupt the academic work of more than 3,000 students here at George Mason University.

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Universities will be joining together to explore options for how we can protect this vulnerable population. Our Association of Public and Land Grant Universities shares these concerns, as you can see in this public statement. I, too, urge the administration to reconsider this executive action.

Here at Mason, and across Virginia, conversations are underway as we work to fully understand the new guidance and its impact on our operations and our students. We are committed to finding creative solutions so that our students are able to continue their study in the U.S.

Our Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) is putting together more information, which will be forthcoming later this week. Faculty and administrators in the schools and colleges can expect to learn more from their deans; international students will receive information from OIPS, including guidance and announcements about FAQ’s and online discussions.

Despite unprecedented challenges we currently face, we will not waver in our support for our international community.

Sincerely,

Gregory Washington

President, George Mason University

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