Temple University: Offer 10 scholarships to Syrian students
We call on Temple University to provide at least 10 scholarships to Syrian students for upcoming classes. We also call on Temple 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.
As Temple students, faculty members, alumni, and community members, we are all familiar with the humble roots of our university in the basement of Russell Conwell's Baptist Temple. Working class folks gathered for late-night tutoring sessions with Conwell himself, and although these "night owls" did not always have the resources to support the school, Conwell was persistent in his mission: to diversify and democratize higher education for those "who were unable to get it through the usual channels." Nearly a century and a half later, Conwell's legacy remains embedded in the mission of Temple University, evidenced by the generous scholarships offered each year and consistent rankings as one of the most diverse universities in the nation. We are proud of Temple's enduring commitment to serving non-traditional, excluded, and marginalized students, and, for this reason, we call on Temple University to make our school even more inclusive by funding ten full-tuition four-year scholarships students living in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with refugee status, asylee status, or temporary protected status (TPS).
Like the working class Americans of Conwell's time, millions of refugee high school graduates and college students are unable to pursue their dream of a college degree. In fact, only one percent of refugees attain a college degree worldwide. With over 65 million refugees around the world, we are currently facing the most dire humanitarian crisis since World War Two. Of those 65 million refugees, nearly 30 million are under the age of 18. If action is not taken promptly, this generation of young people -- whose childhood years were already interrupted by violence, destruction, and forced displacement -- will grow up without access to the resources and opportunities that accompany higher education.
For all these reasons, we ask Temple University to seriously consider this proposal to offer ten four-year, full-tuition scholarships for refugee students living in Pennsylvania. It is both a humanitarian and academic endeavor that we believe represents Temple's mission as an international center of higher education.