A letter urging School of Management Dean Edward Snyder to condemn President Donald Trump’s executive order in a joint statement with other business school leaders has garnered 224 signatures from SOM students.
Student organizers presented the petition to Snyder on Monday evening. The petition emphasized that Trump’s executive order, which banned citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and is currently on hold, goes against the School of Management’s commitment to global cooperation and its mission to educate leaders for business and society.
“We write to you, the leader of the U.S.’s most global business school, in the hope that you will join us in solidarity to condemn prejudiced policies that endanger the welfare of thousands of people,” the letter read. “We ask that you reach out to the deans of other leading business schools and issue a joint press release condemning the immigration policy.”
In response to the letter, Snyder told the News that he has invited students who organized the petition to meet with him and discuss further steps, such as identifying the statements of other business school leaders to work toward a larger contribution. In a Jan. 29 email to the School of Management community, Snyder called for solidarity with the school’s Muslim students and faculty. He also stated at a talk on Jan. 31 that the School of Management remains resolved to its global focus.
Last Thursday, Snyder held a schoolwide forum along with other School of Management senior administrators to discuss the impact of the ban and possible steps ahead, a dialogue students called open and honest.
“It was a very constructive, positive letter acknowledging that we’ve responded effectively, but also correctly asking what else might be done,” Snyder said.
Jocina Becker SOM ’17, one of the petition’s authors, said it reflects the views of the School of Management community.
She added that the letter was necessary in light of the school’s high percentage of international students and its goal to become the most global business school. According to the School of Management website, 36 percent of the class of 2018 comes from outside North America.
“This is a priority to us as a student body,” Becker said. “We ask [Snyder] to step up and make a statement for exactly what it means in the context of business to promote immigration.”
On Monday, Snyder and the 28 other deans of the Global Network for Advanced Management — an international partnership of 29 business schools of which SOM is a founding member — released a joint statement. The statement, which was not issued in response to the petition, acknowledged an upward trend in economic nationalism and outlined the network’s commitment to adapt to new challenges posed by the trend.
Karthik Soora SOM ’18, another author of the petition, said Snyder and the SOM administration have always been receptive to social issues affecting the community.
“We are very happy that our dean has been outspoken on issues of social justice,” Soora said. “You can’t have a global economy if we are not integrated together in solidarity as a society, and I think Yale is very aware of that.”
Zainab Aslam SOM ’17, a Muslim student, said she is grateful for the support from her peers, professors and administrators since Trump issued the travel ban.
Still, Hosanna Odhner SOM ’18, who attended the Thursday forum, said there is only so much that Snyder and the school can do in response to the order, citing that SOM is “only one of many players.”
“You obviously want to take a stand for things when they’re very important, like this ban, but you also don’t want to blow all of your heavy cards on this, and then [Trump] comes out with something even worse tomorrow,” Odhner said.
Correction, Feb. 8: Due to an erroneous piece of information provided to the News, a previous version of this article stated that no SOM students come from the seven countries affected by Trump’s executive order.