Category: Current Affairs

University Applauds Federal Decision to Rescind ICE Guidance

The following message was shared on University of Rochester website and social media platforms on July 14

The University of Rochester applauds the news today from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that the policy announced on July 6 to bar the majority of international students from taking online-only courses from US colleges and universities has been rescinded. The University views this reversal as a huge victory for international students currently studying at Rochester and all over the country. The decision to roll back the policy was made at a hearing today by federal judge Allison D. Burroughs.

Importantly, this news today means that the threat that our current international students faced, which included the real possibility of interrupted or cancelled studies here, is gone. ICE will revert to the guidance it issued this March that allows current students with an active SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record to take online courses from either in the United States or from their home country or country of residence and maintain their F-1 status. Guidance for new/incoming international students is expected to be forthcoming.

Since July 6 when the ICE policy news broke, the University immediately expressed our deepest concerns to our Congressional representatives and urged them to support efforts to rescind it. We became fully engaged with the advocacy and legal efforts of our national associations, like the Association of American Universities, and joined with NYU to develop an amicus brief in support of the federal lawsuit that Harvard and MIT brought against ICE. Our amicus brief can be found here.

Our International Services Office (ISO) immediately began to help clarify the July 6 guidance for impacted students, and the team provided up-to-the-minute information and support to our students and their parents.

Today, we are thrilled for both our international students who contribute so much to the life of the University, and for the state of global education. So many individuals from all over the country came together to respond to this crisis, and we are overcoming it together. We hope that the upcoming guidance for new international students is just as positive.

ISO will hold a town hall meeting and issue additional FAQ’s as soon as possible. Again, we want to state unequivocally and directly to all of our international students: you are welcome here.

A Message from President Mangelsdorf and Provost Clark Regarding ICE Policy

The following message from President Mangelsdorf and Provost Clark was emailed to University of Rochester students, faculty, and staff on Friday, July 10
To the University of Rochester Community,
Monday’s policy announcement by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was unexpected, unwarranted, and cruel to the international students at our University and at other universities across the nation. When the policy was announced, the University immediately issued a public statement regarding this troubling and misguided effort, which may put the health and safety – and the futures – of some of our students in jeopardy. We understand the fear, fury, and anxiety this guidance has caused: we share it, and we will work together to overcome it.
This is obviously a confusing and distressing situation, and we are aggressively pursuing governmental, legal, and educational avenues to challenge these new restrictions. The University is joining with NYU to develop an amicus brief in support of the federal lawsuit that Harvard and MIT have brought against ICE. We have expressed our deepest concerns to our Congressional representatives in both the House and Senate and urged them to support efforts to rescind ICE’s guidance. And we are fully engaged with the advocacy and legal efforts of our national associations, like the Association of American Universities. Meanwhile, our International Services Office is working to clarify the DHS guidance, and the ISO team is offering up-to-the-minute information and support for our affected students and their parents, as well as those who may have questions or concerns about this issue.
We want to state unequivocally that our international students, who contribute so much to the scholarly, social, and cultural environments at the University of Rochester, are essential to our enterprise and they are core members of our past, present, and future. And we want to state unequivocally and directly to our international students: you are welcome here.
Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, President
Robert L. Clark, Provost

Simon Students Work with Consortium Counterparts on ‘MBA Students Care’ Campaign

Three Simon MBAs recently joined together with peers in other MBA programs to take action following recent horrific and tragic racial injustices. Brittany Floyd ’22 (MBA), Ahmyah Smith ’22 (MBA), and Cagney Spears ’21 (MBA), members of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, are working with students at other Consortium member schools on MBA Students Care: A June Fundraiser for Color of Change.

Cagney Spears '21 (MBA)

Cagney Spears ’21 (MBA)

Cagney is a Consortium liaison for Simon, and she recalled around a month ago, a peer liaison at Michigan Ross asked if any other students were interested in starting an initiative to take action. Cagney was one of the first students on the planning committee, which eventually chose Color of Change as the organization that would receive proceeds from the fundraiser.

Cagney explained the team picked Color of Change because it organizes efforts that are moving the needle for Black and Brown communities. She also noted that the planning committee liked the organization’s dedication to education—once you donate to Color of Change, you’re automatically added to its mailing list to build knowledge on a range of social justice causes.

Cagney was impressed by the incoming MBA students, who were extremely enthusiastic to help at the very start of their Simon experience. Brittany commented that “because of the time and the climate, it’s hard not to be involved if you’re aware.”

In 1968, Simon was the fourth school to join The Consortium, an organization committed to enhancing the diversity and inclusion of global business education and leadership by addressing the significant underrepresentation of Black, Native, and Latin Americans. Simon’s incoming MBA Class of 2022 has 33 students who are Consortium members—the largest cohort in school history.

Ahmyah Smith '22 (MBA)

Ahmyah Smith ’22 (MBA)

Having worked for nonprofits from a DEI lens, diversity was central for Ahmyah when considering MBA programs. She was looking for a place that not only encouraged students to be their authentic selves but that embraced each student’s uniqueness. “I appreciate Simon living it and not doing lip service,” she said.

Brittany felt that being involved in the fundraiser for Color of Change helped her really get acquainted with the culture at Simon. “I am so grateful to be in the Simon community. A friend told me that it’s collaborative and people watch out for you, and it’s true. Everyone is so open and willing to help. Although I was told about the culture here, having this crash course helped me realize it’s true, and it’s not something they just say to get you here,” she said with a laugh.

Similarly, the Simon students had nothing but positive things to say about working with their Consortium counterparts from other schools. The Consortium network is known for being tight knit, especially with members sharing the transformative OP conference before beginning their MBA programs. Even though this year’s OP was conducted virtually, the Class of 2022 is still closely connected. “We’ve all built bonds that will last past this moment,” Brittany said.

After the campaign launched June 3, many of the organizers stayed busy promoting it on social media and reaching out to contacts to spread the word, while several team members kept the group in the loop as the numbers rose. “We saw $1,500 and thought, ‘Oh that’s great—we’ll definitely get to $20,000 by the end of the month,’” Cagney said with a smile.

Little did they know it would only take roughly 18 hours for the campaign to reach its initial goal. The team reevaluated the next day and made the decision to set a new goal of $100,000.

Brittany Floyd '22 (MBA)

Brittany Floyd ’22 (MBA)

“It was an incredible, thrilling experience to watch us surpass the goal and also the commitment to do more and go higher,” Brittany said. “We have a dedication to the cause and it’s completely in line with why we are all in The Consortium.”

All three students noted that while the financial contributions are important, awareness and education is an equally significant goal of the campaign. Cagney emphasized that being an ally isn’t always about donating but can also include signing petitions and calling elected officials to demand justice. The team hopes the effort not only educates their networks but mobilizes them to create change.

The campaign currently sits north of $65,000—more than three times what the group initially hoped to donate to Color of Change (support the cause here). There are plans to leave the fundraiser open for a full month, and after they close it out on July 3, the team will take some time to rest and reevaluate what comes next. “We want to strategize how we keep the momentum going,” Ahmyah said.

With many Class of 2021 students embarking on their summer internships soon and classes resuming for everyone not long after that, Cagney noted there will be a great deal of brainstorming to come up with ideas that build on this effort that won’t be too taxing. “The past month has been exhausting—not only being a Black person in America, but on top of that, doing crowd-sourced non-profit work, which is something I’ve never experienced,” Cagney said.

The team plans to focus on this important diversity, equity, and inclusion work “back home” at Simon as well, with the full support and partnership of school leadership, including Dean Sevin Yeltekin. Cagney noted it was particularly meaningful to hear Dean Yeltekin say that the burden to solve systemic problems doesn’t fall on Black people. “It’s our job to provide feedback, but it’s not our job to fix it,” Cagney said.

“We are all thinking about it in the long term,” Brittany said. “We are committed to the long-term goal of making our world more equitable for people of color.”

URMC, Simon Alumni Contribute to Pandemic Response

At Simon Business School we always consider ourselves fortunate to be part of the University of Rochester, but in this moment it has been incredible to watch the partnership and leadership demonstrated by our U of R community.

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), along with researchers and faculty at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry, is on the forefront of the local and national COVID-19 response. URMC is participating in an NIH-sponsored clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an antiviral drug in hospitalized adults diagnosed with COVID-19. Faculty members, along with the Medical Center’s Vaccine Trials and Evaluation Unit (VTEU), will lead the Rochester study involving COVID-19 patients at Strong Memorial Hospital. One of only nine VTEU sites in the US, Rochester’s unit conducts clinical trials of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for known and emergent infectious threats.

We encourage you to follow the @urmc_heroes Instagram account to stay up to date on everything our UR Heroes are doing for our community.

In addition to our University colleagues and friends at URMC, several Simon Business School alumni are lending their expertise to the COVID-19 response in their industries.

  • James Cuthbert ’09 (MBA), senior vice president of brand marketing & strategy for BET, shared the network is launching a series of initiatives with the goal of helping Black communities hardest hit by the virus, including “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort,” a special hosted by Kelly Rowland, Terrance J, and Regina Hall that will air on April 22.
  • Melanie Huet ’03 (MBA), executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Serta Simmons Bedding, shared that Serta donated 10,000 mattresses to New York City hospitals to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Gary Lewin ’02 (MBA), senior buyer, ExOps, at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, shared that the company recently launched a COVID-19 antibody test to market, and testing kits should be available within the month.
  • Jonathan Muniz ’17 (MBA), senior manager of digital product management at CVS Health, noted his company is working to help communities during the pandemic in several ways, including:
    •  – Delivering bonuses to employees who are required to work on-site during the coronavirus pandemic
    •  – Opening three rapid drive-thru testing locations in Georgia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in collaboration with federal and state officials, which can detect positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in as little as thirteen minutes
    •  – Announcing that Aetna would waive costs to patients for hospital admissions related to COVID-19
    •  – Announcing free Rx Delivery during the epidemic to encourage people to stay home
  • Brianne Wojtesta ’15 (MBA) is chief of planning for Harborview Medical Center’s COVID-19 response in Seattle, WA. It is the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, which serves Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

We’ll continue to provide updates on the amazing work our University colleagues and our #SimonStrong alumni are doing to help keep our communities safe during this challenging time. In the meantime, we send our very best wishes for your health and safety.

If beginning business school later this year is one of your goals, please check out our MBA and MS COVID-19 application related FAQs for the most up-to-date information, flexibility on requirements, and more. To show our support, your $90 application fee is waived when you apply for Fall 2020 entry. Simply choose the fee waiver option on the payment screen when you’re ready to submit and we’ll take care of the rest.