Dr. Ben Sprunger reassures community in light of executive order on immigration

by Kendra Burkey – Horizon Advisor

Last month, a chapel service featuring four international student speakers began with a statement from Dr. Ben Sprunger, Hesston’s interim president. Sprunger expressed empathy for those concerned with Trump’s executive order on immigration, which has been source of anxiety for international students nation-wide.

Four international students participated in a panel discussion in chapel Feb. 22, “(re)Connecting to the World.”

“As the scripture says, if one part of the body hurts, all parts hurt,” Sprunger said. “Therefore, if our international students feel anxious we do too, not only just for those among us, but also for all who are guests, just landed immigrants, immigrants, all having permanent resident cards and all who are marginalized by the executive order.”

Sprunger first reached out to international students in an email on Feb. 3.

You are welcome here, he wrote.

“We hope and pray that you will continue to feel welcome by all and continue you studies without any concerns, fears or interruptions.  Please let us know what we can do to be sure you feel welcome and safe.”

Sprunger also reassured students that the order would not interrupt their student status.

“So whatever news or rumors you hear, do not let it trouble you or interfere with your studies.”

Sprunger ended with a statement from faculty members:

“Hesston College remains committed to providing an education where ‘thought, life and faith for service to others in the church and the world’ is available to all.”

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