Do students at Emory and other colleges need to be safe from Donald Trump?

Some Emory students found chalked messages for Donald Trump threatening.

The media are having some fun at the expense of Emory University students alarmed to wake up this week to a barrage of chalked messages of support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump across the campus. A few apparently felt threatened by the evanescent pledges “Trump 2016 – Accept the Inevitable” and “Build A Wall.”

(I agree with some Emory folks that the press has exaggerated the response of students to the chalked slogans. The best source on this incident has been the student newspaper at Emory.)

According to the Emory Wheel:

Students protested yesterday at the Emory Administration Building following a series of overnight, apparent pro-Donald Trump for president chalkings throughout campus.

Roughly 40 students gathered shortly after 4:30 p.m. in the outdoors space between the Administration Building and Goodrich C. White Hall; many students carried signs featuring slogans such as “Stop Trump” or “Stop Hate” and an antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” throughout the Quad. Peraza opened the door to the Administration Building and students moved forward towards the door, shouting “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

The waggish Tim Bryant of News Talk 1340 WGAU posted on Facebook, “I’m going to have to be more sensitive to the college crowd that worries about guns on campus. I mean, just look at what one kid armed with nothing more than chalk did at Emory.”

The Wheel reported Emory President James Wagner took the fears of students seriously enough to talk with them.

One student asked if Emory would send out a  University-wide email to “decry the support for this fascist, racist candidate” to which Wagner replied, “No, we will not.” One student clarified that “the University doesn’t have to say they don’t support Trump, but just to acknowledge that there are students on this campus who feel this way about what’s happening … to acknowledge all of us here.”

Grievances were not restricted to shortcomings of the administration. “[Faculty] are supporting this rhetoric by not ending it,” said one student, who went on to say that “people of color are struggling academically because they are so focused on trying to have a safe community and focus on these issues [related to having safe spaces on campus].”

The story in the Emory Wheel has been shared by media outlets around the country, which may explain the 2228 comments, most of which echo this sentiment:  Let’s not make too much fun of the students. One day when they turn 40 and have to move out of their parents’ basements they might really get scared, require therapy and then all our taxes will go up to support their treatments under President Sanders’ initiatives. Who cares what a bunch of sniveling and pampered solipsistic whiners have to say. I miss the “good old days” of the 1960s/1970s Viet Nam campus protests.

The Emory chalk controversy has rekindled the issue of “safe places” on college campuses. The term came to the national forefront during the student protests over alleged racism at the University of Missouri, which led to the resignation of  University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe. During the protest, Missouri students sought to designate a “safe space” on the campus quad.

Black students at Oberlin College —  a famously progressive campus in Ohio that was the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students — gave President Marvin Krislov 14 pages of demands that he recently addressed.

The student list has garnered national attention for its scope. Among the demands: “Exclusive Black safe spaces on campus…the end of Oberlin functioning as a gentrifying institution.” Students demanded some professors and staff be fired for “rude behavior,” while others be promoted. They also demanded Oberlin pay black student leaders $8.20 an hour for their organizing efforts.

Krislov declined to act on the demands, saying in an online statement: Some of the challenges outlined in the document resonate with me and many members of our community, including our trustees. However, some of the solutions it proposes are deeply troubling. I will not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement. Many of its demands contravene principles of shared governance. And it contains personal attacks on a number of faculty and staff members who are dedicated and valued members of this community.

In a column for the Washington Post, the president of Northwestern University made a case for safe places on campuses.

Northwestern’s Morton Schapiro wrote:

We all deserve safe spaces…For more than four decades, we have had a building on campus called the Black House, a space specifically meant to be a center for black student life. This summer some well-intentioned staff members suggested that we place one of our multicultural offices there. The pushback from students, and especially alumni, was immediate and powerful…One black alumna from the 1980s said that she and her peers had fought to keep a house of their own on campus…A recent white graduate agreed. She argued that everyone needed a safe space and that for her, as a Jew, it had been the Hillel house. She knew that when she was there, she could relax and not worry about being interrogated by non-Jews about Israeli politics or other concerns. So why is the Black House an issue in the eyes of some alumni who write saying that we should integrate all of our students into a single community rather than isolate them into groups? I have never gotten a single note questioning the presence of Hillel, of our Catholic Center or any of the other safe spaces on campus.

 

Reader Comments 0

22 comments
DerekGator
DerekGator

It costs 60 grand a year to go to Emory, I guess that they feel like for that kind of money they deserve to be babied. 

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

Easily my favorite part of the story is


'an antiphonal chant addressed to University administration, led by College sophomore Jonathan Peraza, resounded “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” '


An hilariously bad, pc chant; it is what crying infants learning to sleep through the night would scream if they were suddenly, unexpectedly given the gift of speech but NO sense of rhyme or meter.


weetamoe
weetamoe

So the reason these privileged illiterate tyrants are having academic problems is that they worry so much about other students' political and philosophical beliefs. Emory's president should just remind them that not everything is about them.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Sad for what has historically been a university with a great reputation.  


The worst part - and the piece that will tarnish the university for some time to come - is the response from the President.  You will always have whiners.  


But to have the person "in charge" not tell them to quit being losers is really sad.  


Who in their right mind would think it appropriate to "validate" this incredibly immature behavior.  A Univ.  Pres.  Wow

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Give them some chalk and let them write "NO" in front of the Trump 2016 scrawlings.

Another comment
Another comment

My daughter works part time for a financial institution. Ironically, her current boss is a middle age BFM who worked her way up. She is no nonsense and well liked by all. She needed a New asst. HR kept sending her people that looked like the complainers. She finally said no, I don't want that. I can not continue to have your diversity candidates! It does not work they sit here and whine all day long. They finally complied to her request.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

"You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!"

LOL.  It ain't exactly "Hell No, We Won't Go" is it?


Oh God, I kept looking for the evidence this was a spoof, but no, apparently some students at Emory are this ..... hmmm, I really don't know how to describe them.


[Note to self:  Do not hire any recent Emory grads.]


taylor48
taylor48

@Lee_CPA2 So, 40 students is a reasonable sampling of the beliefs of 8000 students?  Guess someone else will hire the 7960 grads that you refuse to hire based on the actions of 0.5%.

Q1225
Q1225

@Lee_CPA2  I'm sure there are SO many Emory grads gunning to work for you.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

The president should understand that his coddling of this bizarre (and entirely too common) behavior has made his institution an international joke.  Missouri's response to their nonsense cost them a 25% drop in freshman admissions and is giving them some financial difficulties.

Carlos_Castillo
Carlos_Castillo

What's worrisome is if an Emory prof said something favorable about someone these same students didn't approve of and they tried to have that prof fired.


Thought crime at Emory?  Perish the thought.  Just look at the stout response to the existing complaints by the current Emory President.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

I hope that these students are registered to vote.

Astropig
Astropig

@OriginalProf


Let's say they are. I'm all in favor of that.But what if their candidate loses? Then what? Do they accept the result as the working of the democratic process or do they...Fill in the blank. Do they withdraw from the world? Stop voting? Kill themselves?


If they're that upset over some chalk scribblings,how can we expect them to be community,business and political leaders in the future?

taylor48
taylor48

So this is 40 students, correct?  Out of approximately 8000 undergrads?  That's what, a half percent?  And, suddenly everyone is assuming that Emory students are wimpy.  Isn't that the epitome of "painting with a broad brush?"

Astropig
Astropig

@taylor48


I doubt seriously that there are more than a couple dozen Trump supporters on campus and suddenly the university is in a panic. Those broad brushes are not just the sole possession of one side or the other.

SJGM
SJGM

This is ridiculous. These kids today are so wimpy, and yes, intolerant of folks who don't agree to the sissified weak minds they have. They say they are so strong and capable, but yet, some chalked letters about a candidate makes them run for mommy. And this story was even in the Brit's Daily Mail in the UK. These kids need to grow up, grow a pair.

JohnBuck2
JohnBuck2

What they need is a class on the bill of rights and how it applies not only to them but to people they disagree with....


And then a class on conflict resolution..


It's probably too late for the spoiled children spankings they should have received at home when they were kids.

Ralph-25
Ralph-25

Society will need to adjust to the millennial generation and its addiction to electronic communication.  These are people who are uncomfortable, even 'threatened' by traditional personal interactions and debate. Their first impulse when confronted with any problem is to ask for help from their electronic device ("I have dandelions growing in my front yard, does anyone know a dandelion expert?")  If that fails, run to Daddy. 

Legong
Legong

Emory has let a handful of political activists shame it. Including those in the front office.

As for the protesters themselves, the media adulation they've come to expect continues on in today's Get Schooled column.

Strictly for partisan political reasons.


bob larrance
bob larrance

as my mother pointed out, sticks and stones...

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

The Emory students' behavior illustrates why they are often termed emorrhoids.