Open letter to President Harvey Stenger

Binghamton University

February 14, 2017

Dear President Harvey Stenger,

We, the faculty of Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies, urge you to join us in denouncing President Trump’s January 27th executive order imposing a 90-day suspension of visas and other immigration benefits to all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. Like the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), this executive order is nothing short of an attack on the world’s most at-risk populations—those forcibly displaced by war, political instability, religious persecution, environmental degradation, and hunger. Both as a mosaic of humane, ethical individuals and as a unified intellectual community whose cornerstone is respect for human dignity and diversity, we cannot be willing parties to the exclusion and dehumanization of wide swaths of innocent persons. We call upon you as a leader to publicly acknowledge the human consequences and intellectual repercussions of this policy. Moreover, we urge you as a servant leader to take concrete measures to protect the most vulnerable members of the Binghamton University community. 

We strongly oppose this Executive Order because it goes beyond the scope of national security that tends to target immigrants for their religious beliefs, particularly MuslimsWe are especially concerned that this may lay the groundwork for a more permanent ban on travel and immigration from most, if not all, Muslim-majority countries. The present ban is an outright and intolerable example of Islamophobia, which is a frank human rights violation. In particular we likewise are worried about our students and colleagues directly impacted by this ban: because this restriction may impede or is impeding their own ability to remain in this country or travel to and from it, as well as because this ban may be hurting or is actually harming their close relatives and loved ones. In both cases, the academic work and peace of mind of our students and faculty are already being negatively affected: grades and attendance suffers, physical and emotional health is impaired, and productivity declines. That is hardly a climate conducive to optimal results in higher education.

The restrictions on immigration and travel contained in the Executive Order of January 27th raise serious concerns about the ability of Binghamton University to continue functioning at its best. Our campus has made a commitment to internationalization, and has received ample recognition for its achievements in this area. Proud as we are of our growing reputation for innovative research and scholarship, we also know that our ties to a community of international scholars and students are essential to sustaining the pursuit of academic excellence. The Executive Order of January 27th could prevent people from seven countries from joining Binghamton university as faculty; it could prevent some from performing research, and it would not permit some members of our community to return if they were to leave. We are deeply concerned about this Executive Order because we believe that it would likely disrupt or even damage the intellectual exchange and academic activities that form the core of university life. 

We must stand together as we denounce this ban as a devastating human rights infraction and anti-democratic action adopted by the President of the United States. There is no place for racist and religious profiling in Higher Education, but most of all, there is no place for such ban in a supposedly democratic nation. 



Gladys M. Jiménez-Muñoz, Interim Director, LACAS

Ana M. Candela, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Lubna Chaudhry, Director and Associate Professor, Human Development

Robyn Cope, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures

Juanita Diaz-Cotto, Professor, Sociology

Carmen Ferradás, Associate Professor, Anthropology

Oscar Gil, Assistant Professor, Human Development

Thomas Glave, Professor, English, General Literature, and Rhetoric

Giovanna Montenegro, Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature and Romance Languages

Jessie Reeder, Assistant Professor, English

Ana Ros, Associate Professor, Romance Languages

Nadia Rubaii, Associate Professor, Public Administration

Kelvin Santiago-Valles, Associate Professor, Sociology

Brad Skopyk, Assistant Professor, History

Leo Wilton, Professor, Human Development



Open Letter from LACAS Faculty to University Leaders

November 21, 2016


Dear President Harvey Stenger and University Leaders,

We, faculty members affiliated with the Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies (LACAS) Program at Binghamton University, would like to affirm our commitment to defend, support, and stand in solidarity with Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino/a students, faculty, and staff and all others who may feel their rights, safety, or dignity are under attack.  We feel compelled to make this statement in light of a divisive national election and overt acts of racism, sexism, and xenophobia.  We are in the midst of a context of political and legal uncertainty, which has in and of itself increased fear, anxiety, and stress for many students, families, and their communities. We see our commitment as a natural extension of our program’s mission to cultivate awareness and appreciation for the historical processes, cultural dynamics, and social and economic problems affecting people of Latin America and the Caribbean and Latina/os in the U.S.  

We will work with you to ensure that Binghamton University fulfills its historic ideals as an inclusive and internationally oriented institution that welcomes and protects students regardless of race, faith, disability, class, nationality, ethnicity, immigration status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.  We call on University leaders to take the concerns of our community members seriously and to take proactive steps to guarantee the rights of all of our students to their education and safety, and the rights of all of our colleagues and co-workers to safe and supportive working conditions.



Nancy Appelbaum, Director, LACAS, and Professor, History

Susan Appe, Assistant Professor, Public Administration

Anne Bailey, Associate Professor, History and Africana Studies

Ana Maria Candela, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Sandra María Casanova-Vizcaíno, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures

Lubna N. Chaudhry, Associate Professor, Human Development

Robyn Cope, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures

Juanita Díaz-Cotto,  Professor, Sociology

Elizabeth A. DiGangi, Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Carmen A. Ferradás, Associate Professor, Anthropology

Leslie Gates, Associate Professor, Sociology

Óscar F. Gil-García, Assistant Professor, Human Development

Thomas Glave, Professor, English

Gladys Jiménez Muñoz, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Director, Sociology

Maria Lugones, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature

Giovanna Montenegro, Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature and Spanish

Luiza Franco Moreira, Professor, Comparative Literature

Joshua Price, Professor, Sociology and TRIP

Jessie Reeder, Assistant Professor, English

Idaliz Román Pérez, Adjunct Lecturer, LACAS

Ana Ros, Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures

Nadia M. Rubaii, Associate Professor, Public Administration

Odilka Santiago, Adjunct Lecturer, LACAS

Leo Wilton, Professor, Human Development

Kai Wen Yang, Adjunct Lecturer, LACAS


Click here for LACAS' Spring 2017 Course List 



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Painting by Diana Solis
© Diana Solis
Arte y Papel Diana Solis Studio
The Flatiron

Painting by Juan Sánchez
© Juan Sánchez

Binghamton University
State University of New York
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P.O. Box 6000
Binghamton NY, 13902-6000
Phone: 607-777-4250

Last Updated: 2/15/17