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BREAKING: MSU Provost Announces Elimination of the Terms ‘Foreign’ and ‘Alien’

Author: Sergei Kelley

Michigan State University Provost Teresa Woodruff recently announced the end of using the terms ‘foreign’ and ‘alien’ to create a more inclusive environment.

Addressing the Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU) general assembly on October 22, Woodruff said, “we will eliminate from our collective lexicon the words ‘alien’ and ‘foreign.’ Instead, we’ve adopted non-pejorative terms that describe geography.”

[RELATED STORY: Rally for Undocumented Students WARNS MSU, Demands Sanctuary Campus]

New language regarding international students would be “non-domestic” or “international," the provost shared. Continuing, Woodruff said the change will help “create a culture of not us vs. them, but of each other.”

Woodruff shared the change is by the MSU Office of the Provost and came through the Dean’s Council, and the federal government has been notified.

Calling it an “essential step,” ASMSU’s International Students Association representative Nikunj Agarwal said the language change will help in “making us feel really inclusive in the community.”

In October 2019, MSU made further changes regarding non-citizens, launching a website for “undocumented students, refugees, and recipients of...DACA.” The website’s goals included reducing apprehension, addressing confusion, and giving better access to MSU resources.

Additionally, after a presentation by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents to an MSU class, who were invited to speak, MSU’s President Samuel Stanley compared the visit to acts of vandalism and part of the “concern and anger” on campus.

The Office of the Provost did not comment in time for publication.

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