Fallout over chalked pro Trump slogans at Emory continues. Alums enter fray.

A serial chalker in support of Donald Trump has alarmed some Emory University students. A Trump opponent apparently added “STOP” in front of “TRUMP 2016.” And yes, the first word in the chalk message is misspelled. Photo by Bill Torpy

The national dust-up over how Emory University students reacted to pro Donald Trump comments written in chalk on their campus last week shows no sign of clearing.

The lament of 40 or so students that the slew of Trump 2016 slogans made them feel unsafe feeds into the popular narrative that young people today are coddled simps. That’s been the central theme to all the derision heaped on the students.

But now the criticism is extending to how the university itself responded.

The AJC reports today:

Wagner did his writing after another student group called Young Americans for Liberty and a group of Emory alumni began pushing for Emory to support free speech rights on campus and even lift some restrictions on speech that YAL call “restrictive.” The alum have started a Facebook page, which you can read here.

How Emory has changed. Once a world-renowned university that attracted scholars from across the globe, a university that encouraged diverse intellectual pursuits, Emory has apparently become a day-care where children must be shielded from “bad thoughts” lest their feelings be harmed. And the administration has officially endorsed this shift.

We are writing not to highlight the absurdity of those who believe they are physically harmed by encountering political speech with which they disagree, as this is, or should be, clear to any observer. Instead, we are writing to express our disappointment with the recent actions of the Emory administration. For the first time, we are embarrassed to call ourselves Emory graduates.

As The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Washington Post and other media outlets recently reported, a small contingent of vocal Emory students claimed to have been harmed on campus and stormed the office of the president of the university in protest. The locus of this alleged harm?

Chalked political slogans featuring the name of a leading presidential candidate. What should have become an opportune teaching moment to instruct students in the value of free speech and healthy debate, once radical ideas that serve as the foundation of American society, morphed into  something else entirely.

President Wagner, and by virtue of his position, Emory itself, officially endorsed the opposite: the rights of all to freely express their political views must give way in the event some believe their feelings are harmed by such speech. Indeed, as President Wagner stated in a recent campus-wide email in response to the student-led protest, it is now Emory’s policy to recognize the “calls to provide a safe environment.” Freely expressing a constitutionally protected right, in Wagner’s view, creates an unsafe environment. Let the implications sink in.

No longer does Emory University serve as a beacon of intellectual diversity attracting some of the best and brightest young adults from across the world, much as it attracted us. Instead, Emory has become just another school in the well-documented pattern of universities that have surrendered to the demands of a vocal few that emotional comfort, ideological conformity and yes, “safe environments” trump fundamental notions of free speech. Critical thinking and exposure to other opinions are unwanted. But this does not have to be how the story ends. It is vitally important that we respond to this trend by reaffirming our foundational notions of freedom.

Unfortunately, President Wagner and Emory University have thus far failed to rise to the challenge.

We call for President Wagner and the full administrative body of Emory University to publicly acknowledge the intrinsic value of free speech and the right of all to engage in spirited political debate. By letting a small cadre of overly sensitive students affect a heckler’s veto on a universal right, President Wagner and Emory University have contributed to the erosion of fundamental freedom in this country. It is incumbent on all to fight to protect free speech, especially speech that might be unpopular or viewed by some as “dangerous.” And fight we will.

Reader Comments 0

104 comments
catmom-scout
catmom-scout

I'm amazed Maureen even called them coddled simps. I figured she would have been on their side. For what it's worth, I'm in the camp that believes these students are crybabies who have made the university a laughingstock.

Mandella88
Mandella88

Maureen is spot on with her take that "young people today are coddled simps."


Can you imagine the outrage if a school administration made a decision to remove a media clerk and the decision hurt the feelings of a bunch of "coddled simps"

Darren Serati
Darren Serati

Those precious snowflakes of this cupcake generation need to get out of their safe spaces and grow up. You do not have a right to not be offended. That is a subjective personal choice. You will never make it in the real world.

Rebecca Bannister
Rebecca Bannister

Really looking forward to these cry babies hitting the job force. Maybe I'll win the lottery and not have to work with them. One conference call like I had today and they'll be crying to HR I'm sure.

Tom Huynh
Tom Huynh

The student need to counter protest instead of sobbing . Politics is a fight in a sense.

Marybeth Morgan
Marybeth Morgan

Waaa waaa teach me how to drive a waambulance because I'll never make it out there in the big bad chalk filled world....

Marybeth Morgan
Marybeth Morgan

Oh P.S. I hate trump but this is just chalk we can't just spray trump and hope he goes away...

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Or . . . you might say . . . It was chalked in support of re-establishing the sovereignty of the United States and re-establishing secure borders so that people (or even enemies) cannot just walk in, set up shop, get a job, sign up for all the government bennies, have a baby, etc to serve as a permanent visa, and so on. 


Or you might say that it would bring essential fairness to the United States immigration system for people all over  the world who want to legally immigrate here, who apply, follow the rules and procedures established by law, adhere to the waiting periods, and so on. 


But no. It was "against minority students" of course. Just as myself, and many millions of like mind, are now automatically "racists" because we think that immigrants coming into America should have to follow our immigration laws and that the federal government should enforce them. And now I am no longer against "illegal" immigrants, I am a racist who is anti-immigrant. I am no longer "anti-illegal immigration" because "illegal" has been carefully removed by the Dem/Libs and the lame stream media, even though it is the key descriptive term. 


There many examples of this kind of thing. Political correctness built upon euphemistic language that ignores clear and precise meaning. 


And then you are just amazed that someone like Donald Trump has ascended to the place he now holds in the presidential race. Just amazed.  

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Ficklefan 

You too are reacting to a few words chalked on a wall at Emory. I guess you must understand why students reacted to the words differently than to, say, "Kasich in 2016."

Deborah Churchwell
Deborah Churchwell

was anyone threatened? were the comments racist? threatening? offensive? Grow up, kids. you're going to have a hard time in the REAL WORLD. there are lots of messages everywhere you won't like and you can't go crying to an authority figure to make it stop. boohoo, babies.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

There was an article in the print AJC about this today. The context is relevant: the slogan appeared outside the center that houses associations for Latino and black students, and included the words, "Build a wall."  This is an obvious allusion to Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants.


I would say that it was chalked against minority students, and I can see why they didn't like it.  I would also say that the Emory President handled the situation badly.

ConcernedEmory
ConcernedEmory

It was chalked everywhere, yes, also next to a building that housed MANY student groups, including minorities. Are words the equivalent of "violence" to you as well?

TJHP
TJHP

Pathetic. College is the place to discuss, debate, and disagree ... this generation of students seems to have lost the ability to think.


WW5
WW5

new campus carry bill for next year - all students will be allowed to carry chalk.  the bill will restrict the student to carry only 2 colors.  no assault chalk magazines allowed.

Patricia Cochran
Patricia Cochran

Kudos to President Wagner for his own chalk message. About time someone stands up to these overly sensitive students. How will they manage in the "real" world! And think of one of THEM being president some day. LOL

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP - lets see how many on here get their 'feewings" hurt.....

David Dean
David Dean

Thanks for standing up for freedom of speech Mr President.

Bob Hunt
Bob Hunt

these pethitic losers will never succeed in the real world, they will live in mommys basement forever

John Cooper
John Cooper

Looks like you need to call in the big gun for this story....Bookman may be able to write about the chalk crisis....

Steve Morris
Steve Morris

Great job, take the whining liberals put in military and send overseas

ownerccc
ownerccc

Wagner should resign. That is all.

Carlos_Castillo
Carlos_Castillo

Need and opportunity have come together!  The scuttlebutt is that Emory Hospital surgeons need a candidate for the world's first total backbone replacement procedure.  In President Wagner, they have found the ideal candidate!  




northernneighbor
northernneighbor

I hope the USG presidents heed the advice from the Emory alumni.

David Jones
David Jones

What a sad commentary on Emory. Grow up babies.

Michael Mancini
Michael Mancini

Oh for crying out loud, if you need therapy over this, then you are part of the problem with this country.

Jayco Garcia
Jayco Garcia

I w0­­­­rk @ g­­­oo9le I no­­­w have my dre­­­am house and a brand new car.working at h­­­ome with g0­­­0gle i am paid $9­­­0 an hour. work hard equals success I earn $12,000a wee­­­k.! try it visit my refferal link NetPost90.co­­m­­O­­NL­­Y do not include "ONLY.

Omar K. Ali
Omar K. Ali

Ziprecruiter works faster, but if you really made $90 an hour you would know that.

Chip Howard
Chip Howard

This just in, Emory to change school mascot name form Eagles to Snow Flakes

Cinda Caiella
Cinda Caiella

As an alum, there's mild vandalism AND CRAZY OVER-REACTION! Everything is Def-CON 3 these days. AND instant breakfast.

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared


"By letting a small cadre of overly sensitive students affect a heckler’s veto on a universal right"


Aww, dude...

First, the whiny undergrads who couldn't come up with a decent, chantable slogan.


NOW Emory graduates who, in a carefully prepared, published letter, don't know the difference between "affect" and "effect"....



http://grammarist.com/usage/affect-effect/

applicable passage:

"But the words have other, less commonly used senses that can make them tricky. Effect does function as a verb when it bears the sense to bring about. For instance, it is the correct word in phrases such as effect change and effect solutions where these phrases mean to bring about change and to bring about solutions."


AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

To cap this discussion, let me now replace the offending, incorrect word from the passage above:


“By letting a small cadre of overly sensitive students  [NOT affect] BRING ABOUT a heckler’s veto on a universal right, President Wagner and Emory University have contributed to the erosion of fundamental freedom in this country.”

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@AlreadySheared 

Sorry.  The graduates' usage is correct. From your own source: "Affect is usually a verb, and effect is usually a noun. To affect something is to change or influence it, and an effect is something that happens due to a cause. When you affect something, it produces an effect."

And from the trusty Harbrace College Handbook: "The verb 'affect' means to influence, attack, or to touch the emotions. The noun 'effect' means result of a cause."

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@OriginalProf And I beg he/she doesn't now the difference between Affect (verb) and Affect (noun) either....

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@AlreadySheared Dude - don't you just hate it when you're trying to be a smart arse and you end up being a dumb arse? 

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

Ahem... 

Fearing the worst from inattentive readers, I POSTED the "applicable passage" from my link to prevent errors such as the one you just made.

I am going to POST IT AGAIN (emphasis added) in the sincere hope that you will read and understand:

"Effect DOES FUNCTION AS A VERB when it bears the sense to bring about. For instance, it is the correct word in phrases such as effect change and effect solutions where these phrases mean to bring about change and to bring about solutions."

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@AlreadySheared 

 I prefer, "By letting a small cadre of overly sensitive students effect a heckler's veto on a universal right. . ."  ;-)

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

@MaryElizabethSings @AlreadySheared
Yes, that would have been correct (and saved me the pain of trying to correct grammar in an online forum)

Thus ends episode 4,917 of "spell checker can't fix everything, you still need to know how to write".

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@AlreadySheared @MaryElizabethSings


At least, one needs to know the rules of English grammar in depth in order to write well.


Btw, I do not read every post, and I only became intrigued with the discussion once the usage of "affect/effect" was being analyzed.  In fact, I still have not seen your post in which you had, evidently, misused the correct word of those two.


I am sure that I have made more serious grammar errors through simply writing on this blog in haste, than I should have, because content is more important to me than grammar. Content is where my focus is, and time is limited.


I was blessed with one of the best high school English teachers in the United States, and I had had this lady for my English teacher for two of my four years in high school.  I have never forgotten most of those rules of English grammar. 


The diagramming of sentences was what had intrigued me in high school, in which every word had to be accounted for in relationship to every other word, with some having more weight or dominance in ideas than others through word choice, and phrase or clause use.  I was honored that this teacher awarded me the "English Award" for 1960 in my high school graduation ceremony.

ConcernedEmory
ConcernedEmory

No. "Affect" in this instance was used to highlight the insincerity of the protestors - an affectation if you will. As mentioned above, "affect" as a verb, is used to influence, or touch the emotions. This was the intent of the passage. We certainly could have dumbed it down to make it an easier read. And yes, the usage was discussed.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@ConcernedEmory


At least. you have demonstrated that the selection of word choice regarding either "affect" or "effect" is not as definitive as simply choosing a noun or a verb.  Thus, the ambiguity in the minds of many regarding the proper usage/selection of one of these two words in a specific context.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@ConcernedEmory


Comma intended, not period, after the phrase, "At least," in my first sentence, above.  Typo made because new glasses are needed. ;-)