A Texas community college has tarnished its reputation by reportedly denying admission to applicants who hail from Africa, citing fears about the Ebola virus.
According to Inside Higher Ed, Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas sent rejection letters to students explaining that the school would not be "accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases." Several Nigerian students received letters, which began making their rounds on social media thanks to Idris Bello:
As Inside Higher Ed points out, not one health official has called for such drastic action:
While federal officials have urged that colleges take precautions when enrolling students from areas with Ebola, no federal health guidance has suggested across-the-board bans on those from any of those nations. Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the CDC is not recommending colleges and universities isolate or quarantine students, faculty, or staff based on travel history alone.
Scrambling to cover their asses, Navarro College released the following statement:
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.
As Gawker notes, the elephant in the room here is that Texas, the state where Navarro College resides, is home to confirmed cases of Ebola. How ironic.