Staff Editorial: We applaud efforts to bring refugee family to campus

By now, we have all seen the pictures of Syrian refugees fleeing a civil war that has displaced more people than the entire population of North Carolina. And yet, as much as we want to help, it can feel like those people fighting for the right to simply live in peace are very far from Founders Hall.

Guilford College is leading the movement for American institutions of higher education to help refugees. Much of this work has been arranged by Chair and Associate Professor of English Diya Abdo, who has begun the push for our campus to house a Syrian refugee family. The family will soon be joining our community in the staff apartment in Bryan Hall.

The Guilfordian Editorial Board encourages all our fellow community members to do everything possible to make our new neighbors welcome when they arrive. Those of you who live in Bryan especially can contribute by creating an environment in which they will feel safe and comfortable since it is likely they will be sensitive to loud noises and shouting. However, all of us have a role to play.

We can also inspire other colleges to follow our lead through the “Every Campus a Refuge” movement. Abdo’s work on creating this will be featured by the magazine Inside Higher Education, and will hopefully encourage other colleges to open their doors to other refugee families.

If you would like more information, please come to the panel discussion entitled “Human Flotsam: Perspectives on the Current Refugee Crisis” at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday,  Sept. 29, in Joseph M. Bryan Jr.  Auditorium, which will include Guilford faculty and members of the Greensboro community.

This is a rare chance for Guilford to not only live out our core values, but lead U.S. colleges in a concrete moral stand for the dignity and rights of every human being. The campus used to harbor slaves and soldiers fleeing violence in our woods. Now it is our turn to shelter those who seek to live in peace. We ask each and every one of you to join us.