During challenging times, whether environmental or political, Mercyhurst University maintains its reputation as an accepting and supportive community for all, continuing to help those in need.
University President Michael T. Victor has sent out campuswide emails to reassure staff and students after several political and environmental events. His emails have also provided information on ways to help through collections on campus and online efforts.
Over the past few months, numerous collections have taken place, both by students and organizations on campus, to provide support for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria and various other natural disasters.
Colin Hurley, director of Community Engagement, commented on the efforts to help those left without water and electricity in the wake of natural disasters.
“Central to all efforts seems to be our common foundation of the Mercy Mission and reaching out compassionately toward those who are vulnerable and in need,” Hurley said.
The actions of leaders in the Education department, Athletic department, Mercyhurst International Students Organization and Mercy Emissaries, among many others, have made a global difference while continuing to uphold the Mercyhurst legacy.
Many of the major issues over the past year have been the federal government’s changes in policies, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the executive order on immigration.
Faith Ehidiamhen, senior Political Science major, disagrees with many of President Donald Trump’s decisions.
“A lot of immigrants have made America their home,” said Ehidiamhen. “Removing them from this country will end up affecting us economically and culturally.”
Displaced immigrants are put into makeshift warehouses that are bought by the government with taxpayer money. When an immigrant is deported, the costs of deportation also come out of the taxpayers’ pockets.
“We need to tighten the loopholes in our system and fix the problems, not just the symptoms,” Ehidiamhen said.
Victor’s emails of support have been a successful tactic used to combat the policy changes. The emails clearly state Mercyhurst’s choice to stand behind all members of the community while also urging staff and students to seek long-term remedies.
“The motivation behind the emails is to remind everyone of our Mercy Mission and the core critical concerns,” said Victor. “We want to remind people what we stand for and lead by example.”
Mitchell Marsh, a sophomore Business Marketing and Hospitality Management double major, appreciates the emails and what is represented by their message.
“It’s a sign of reassurance that (Victor) is there for us and understands what we are going through,” Marsh said.
While sending an email to the Mercyhurst community is a simple action, many students share Marsh’s view that Victor is taking a stance and supporting the students.
“Mercyhurst must be and will continue to be, under my leadership and our team, a beacon of hope, a beacon of welcome, someone who stands for the rights of those who can’t necessarily speak for themselves. Those that need help, we will be there to help,” Victor said.