Navarro College, a small community college in Texas, allegedly sent rejection letters to several Nigerian applicants because “Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.”
As reported by Inside Higher Ed, the rejection letters began circling on Twitter thanks to Idris Bello, a self-titled “Afropeneur” and advocate for Africans in the United States.
@idrisayobello Tell @NavarroCollege ; Stop Ebola, Stop Discrimination pic.twitter.com/ZeaiAvdNqd” look inwards Ebola is right next to u in Texas
— Tosin_Ajai (@tozinla) October 13, 2014
Even though #Nigeria has no current case of #Ebola, a US College is denying admission to Nigerians on that basis. pic.twitter.com/aRekeGRVRu — Idris Ayodeji Bello (@idrisayobello) October 12, 2014
Navarro College did not initially respond, but later released this statement on their website:
Our college values its diverse population of international students. This fall we have almost 100 students from Africa. Unfortunately, some students received incorrect information regarding their applications to the institution. As part of our new honor’s program, the college restructured the international department to include focused recruitment from certain countries each year. Our focus for 2014-15 is on China and Indonesia. Other countries will be identified and recruitment efforts put in place once we launch our new honors program fall 2015. We apologize for any misinformation that may have been shared with students. Additional information regarding our progress with this new initiative will be posted on our website.
Besides the fact that the rejected students should feel lucky to have avoided a school with an “Honor’s Program” (a program reserved for the best and brightest in the field of misplaced apostrophes, no doubt), this is a travesty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “is not recommending colleges and universities isolate or quarantine students, faculty, or staff based on travel history alone,” and Nigeria, lauded for its aggressive response to the disease, has not seen any new cases in over a month, and will officially be declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization in five days.
Hopefully the rejected students will find acceptance from another institution of higher education with a slightly firmer grip on reality, or at least one that knows how to say it’s sorry.
[h/t Inside Higher Ed, Gawker]