Dickinson College: Offer 10 scholarships to Syrian students
We call on Dickinson College to provide at least 10 scholarships to Syrian students for upcoming classes. We also call on Dickinson to join the Syria Consortium and encourage other institutions to join by raising awareness about the plight of Syrian students. We also call on leaders of the international community to take action to protect school and students in Syria, by whatever means necessary.
To: Dickinson College Admissions Office and Board of Trustees
Millions of Syrian high school graduates and college students are unable to pursue their dreams of obtaining a college degree. Thousands of schools have been destroyed, unfairly depriving Syrian students of the right to an education. Consequently, millions of Syrian students are now refugees, and unable to attend school. Millions more have not had the opportunity to flee the country and are too afraid to go to school because a bomb could explode at any time. While host countries and the UNHCR can provide primary education to Syrian children, the young Syrian men and women pursuing a higher education face a much more difficult task. With language, logistical, and financial barriers, these students are unable to continue their education without foreign institutional assistance.
That is why we urge universities to create scholarship opportunities, specifically for Syrian students, to pursue a higher education. The Syria Consortium, created by the International Institute of Education, (IIE) brought together 40 universities who have committed to offer Syrian students and scholars a safe haven to continue their studies abroad. Since universities offer educational opportunities, this is the most practical way for them to contribute humanitarian aid to the unprecedented and desperate plight of the Syrian people. However, we need more universities to join this effort.
In the fall of 1941, Dickinson readily welcomed a French World War II refugee to campus. Last spring, we highlighted the history of philanthropy at Dickinson through the first annual Day of Giving, and it added to our identity as a "giving" institution. This year the Center for Service, Spirituality and Social Justice brought awareness to the Syrian Refugee Crisis by placing photographs that displayed the hardships Syrian refugees undergo as they try to find a safe haven around the Hub and the Rector. Dickinson prides itself on being a diverse and globally- aware campus and we have implemented countless initiatives to show that. One way has been through our commitment to diversity by having 17% students of our student body, of color, and 10% of them, international. Furthermore, our school is located in a state that has committed itself to upholding its morals and receiving Syrian refugees, while continuing to keep its constituents safe. Additionally, Pennsylvania has a Refugee Resettlement Program, overseen by the PA Department of Human Services located in nearby Harrisburg. Therefore, it is important that Dickinson College contributes to the global and local initiatives being made to aid in the resettlement of Syrian Refugees. This will certainly further our commitment to being an aware and diverse campus.
Dickinson College accepted over 2,841 students last year, offering many generous scholarships, from the John Dickinson Scholarship to The Founders Scholarship. As students of Dickinson, we think that some of these seats should go to qualified Syrian refugees who would otherwise not receive an education. We are calling on Dickinson to join the Syria Consortium, organized by the IIE, to offer scholarship opportunities to Syrian students. We hope that Dickinson can be a leader to universities around the world by offering these Syrian students a second chance at getting their education.