Many minority, Muslim and/or immigrant students are reporting increased harassment since Donald Trump was elected president. On many campuses, incidents specifically include Trump’s name, and, at others, various slurs are being reported.
Racial and ethnic incidents on campus are hardly new and have been happening since well before Trump entered the presidential race. But as reports circulate about these incidents, some students are saying that things are worse. And their view has added to anxiety and anger many students feel about the outcome of the election. While many of the reports involve slurs, others include physical attacks.
Here is a sampling of the incidents reported since Trump’s victory became clear.
- After the Trump win, a student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale posted a photo to social media of two people in blackface (above). The university confirmed that the woman in the photo is a student but said that the man is not. Brad Colwell, interim chancellor, sent a message to the campus that said in part, "This week’s presidential election was extremely divisive and emotions are running high. A number of people have contacted my office regarding offensive behavior and comments, including social media posts …. Please know that we deeply share your concerns. We are reviewing every incident and will take appropriate action." He added, "We value individuals, diversity and inclusion. Anything less diminishes all of us. Free speech is an important right and value that we should use wisely and respectfully."
- On Wednesday, a student at San Diego State University reported that she was the victim of a strong-arm robbery. University police are investigating the incident as a hate crime because the student said comments were made mocking her Muslim faith (she was wearing a hijab). Elliot Hirshman, the president, posted a message to students on Facebook, saying that "we condemn this hateful act and urge all members of our community to join us in condemning such hateful acts."
- Sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday, someone wrote "Trump" on the door to the Muslim prayer room at New York University’s engineering college, one of them being the door to the Muslim prayer room. K. R. Sreenivasan, the dean, sent students an email message: "It has come to my attention that there has been an instance of defacing the school property as a means of intimidation. I greatly regret that it has happened. We as a community are all different with different sensitivities, and I think it is utterly reasonable to expect that civility and mutual respect will form the core of our collective and individual behaviors. Any time anyone violates this norm, it is an offense against us all."
- Authorities at Texas State University are investigating fliers that threaten, now that Trump has been elected, to tar and feather "deviant university leaders" who support "diversity garbage," The Austin American-Statesman reported.
- The University of Louisville has suspended and is investigating multiple cheerleaders for comments they made on social media after the election, ESPN reported. One tweet from a cheerleader told somebody to stop talking "about racism, sexism, whateverism," and that this other person acts like one who "came off a boat." One football player tweeted that he would not want this cheerleader cheering the team at a game.
- Marshall University officials are condemning a student’s Trump-inspired tweet, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. The election night tweet referenced the way Trump spoke on video about how he treats women. “As soon as Trump hits 270 electoral votes I am grabbing the first girl I see by the p—-. #MAGA,” said the tweet. The hashtag is used by Trump supporters as the acronym of "Make America Great Again," his slogan. The tweet has since been deleted.
- San Jose State University officials are investigating reports that a woman wearing a hijab was attacked in a campus garage.
- Students at Wake Forest University reported that one or more people ran around residence halls shouting slurs against African-Americans. A statement from the university said, "University police are responding to a bias report about a racial slur and have identified two suspects in a single incident. They are working with the person who reported the offensive behavior."
- Authorities at the University of Vermont are investigating a Trump sign that had a swastika drawn over it that was left near the Hillel offices at the university. The Burlington Free Press reported that authorities think that one possibility is that the swastika was a comment about Trump, not a comment made by a Trump supporter.
- A national fraternity has kicked out two of its members at Babson College after they drove through Wellesley College waving a Trump flag, The Boston Globe reported. Many at Wellesley reported that the two men also made racially offensive comments as they drove by a center for black students.
- At the University of Oregon, a student who had just left a meeting of the Black Student Union Wednesday night encountered three young people (the student guesses that they were too young to be college students) in blackface, The Oregonian reported. The student videotaped the young people, and the university has condemned anyone who wears blackface on campus. This incident also follows debate at Oregon over a professor who wore a blackface costume for Halloween.
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