The video is part of a national campaign to promote inclusiveness and diversity on campus.
What does it mean to feel welcome? In the George Washington University’s new video for the “You Are Welcome Here” campaign, students from all over the world explain.
“Being welcome is being given a chance really just to be yourself by being a Muslim American, by being an Arab woman, by being a first-generation immigrant, being Algerian—they are all really important parts of my identity,” senior Amira Bakir says in the video.
GW joined the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign earlier this year. The national effort started in November 2016 to send a message of inclusivity from U.S. higher education to international students around the world. Participating universities have been using the #YouAreWelcomeHere hashtag on social media and creating videos like GW’s to promote support of all community members on campuses.
More than 100 colleges and universities are participating in the initiative. GW has also displayed posters all over campus that say “You Are Welcome Here” in multiple languages.
In response to President Donald Trump’s first executive order on immigration restrictions, George Washington President Steven Knapp wrote a letter to the GW community to explain the steps the university was taking to support those affected. In February, Dr. Knapp signed a letter from college and university presidents to affirm his commitment to educating students of all backgrounds.
“Whatever its intent may be, the presidential executive order banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States directly threatens the well-being of students as well as of faculty and staff members who come from the affected countries,” he said.
The video continues the university’s commitment to create a safe space on campus.
“I love GW because I have always felt really welcome,” said Claudette Monroy, an international student from Mexico. “My professors have were so excited to get to know me, and they saw me for my interests and just how I am as a student and as a woman, and what I was going to be able to bring to the program.”