Wednesday, Nov. 8 marked one year since the election of President Donald Trump. The Collegian looks back on how the Trump administration’s decisions have affected the Kenyon community.
November 8, 2016
Donald Trump won the presidential election. The next day, over 200 Kenyon students gathered in Thomas Hall to share reactions to the election, which included “raw emotion, frustration, optimism and determination,” according to a Nov. 10 Collegian article. President Sean Decatur spoke about confronting those with whom you disagree.
January 27, 2017
President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen — from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The order also indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days. At Kenyon, Director of the Center for Global Engagement Marne Ausec told the Collegian on Feb. 2, “Our advice [to citizens of these seven countries] is don’t leave the country. Based on what we understand of the order, you won’t get back in.”
February 22, 2017
The Trump administration revoked a set of 2016 Department of Education guidelines that outlined how schools can create a non-discriminatory environment for transgender students. The Trump administration explained the decision by saying the guidelines did not “contain extensive legal analysis … nor did they undergo any formal process.” At Kenyon, Decatur, Vice President for Student Affairs Meredith Bonham ’92 and Civil Rights/Title IX Coordinator Samantha Hughes affirmed Kenyon’s continued commitment to its transgender students, despite the new policy.
April 18, 2017
President Trump signed a measure that increased federal oversight of the H-1B visa program for highly skilled foreigners. (Higher education is the third-largest industry sponsor of H-1B visas recipients.) The next day, the Chronicle of Higher Education estimated this policy — which created hurdles on the pathway from college to work — could deter international students from coming to the U.S.
May 23, 2017
President Trump released his budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year, which called for a $9.2 billion cut to education spending. Under this budget, the federal government would stop subsidizing the interest on student loans and simplify student loan repayment plans.
September 5, 2017
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which protected certain young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Sessions said the administration would phase out the program after a six-month delay, during which Congress can choose “to act — should it so choose.”
September 22, 2017
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Department of Education’s decision to formally rescind Obama-era guidance on how schools should handle sexual assaults under Title IX federal law. The new guidelines offered by DeVos make it more difficult to adjudicate cases of sexual misconduct by requiring more evidence. “It’s guidance, it’s not law,” Hughes said in an Oct. 12 article in the Collegian, affirming Kenyon would not change how it deals with Title IX complaints but adding that colleges tend to adhere closely to what the Department of Education says.