ORONO – Maine women’s basketball coach, Amy Vachon, has shown when she’s passionate about something she does her best to make her voice heard and evoke change.
Wednesday, the Black Bear coach posted on Twitter her concern over recent news international students may be deported if the colleges and/or universities they attend move to online learning.
“There have been a lot of tough things about this pandemic. One of the hardest for me right now is not being able to help my international players return or come to Maine – a place that’s their second home. Also supporting them through the “threat of deportation.” This is not right,” Vachon said in a post on Twitter.
The news coming from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency coupled with the European Union travel ban to and from the United States creates a tough situation for Mane.
The Black Bears roster is comprised of mostly international students, some of which would not be able to come back to the United States and others that could be deported.
At the moment, UMaine is planning on having students return to campus in the fall, a decision that would allow international students to return to campus. Vachon’s concern comes from the uncertainty the pandemic presents and the chance classes could go remote in the fall.
Vachon says she’s been in contact with her players, assuring them she will fight to have them back at UMaine.
“I want to fight for them as much as I can and anyway I can that I know how I will. That’s a pretty cool thing that they’re leaving their country and they want to come to the United States and study,” Vachon said.
As schools around the country scramble to figure out how they can keep international kids at their respective schools some have already created alternatives.
Columbia, NYU and several other schools have created “hybrid” classes with in-person and remote learning available to international students. The in-person section making the international students eligible to stay in the U.S.
Vachon says Maine is working on finding a solution and is thrilled with the support the school has given her and the program.
“They’re working on a lot of different things right now with the international and the international office I mean kudos to them too they are just spinning right now you know it’s really really hard for them so they’re trying to do their best as well,” Vachon said.