More than a week after Donald Trump secured the win in the 2016 presidential election, protests on college campuses continue unabated. But now some conservative students are fighting back against their own school administrations.
Their point is that colleges and universities should acknowledge that some students are pleased, and that institutions of higher learning should hold debates, and not coddle students who are displeased with the democratic process.
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University of Michigan student Amanda Delekta, a sophomore, began a #notmycampus petition, which encourages open discussion rather than simply caving in to the hurt feelings of Clinton supporters. “For the University of Michigan, that prides itself on critical thinking and open dialogue, I was shocked to see that,” she said.
Responses from student supporters share some of what conservatives have faced since the election. The stories include harassment, and fear of retribution. “I have experienced more verbal attacks and insults in the past week than I have in my entire life,” one anonymous student wrote.
The petition was created in response to University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel’s message to campus after the election, which read in part:
It will take quite some time to completely absorb the results from yesterday’s election, understand the full implications, and discern the long-term impact on our university and our nation. More immediately, in the aftermath of a close and highly contentious election we continue to embrace our most important responsibility as a university community.
Our responsibility is to remain committed to education, discovery and intellectual honesty – and to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are at our best when we come together to engage respectfully across our ideological differences; to support ALL who feel marginalized, threatened or unwelcome; and to pursue knowledge and understanding, as we always have, as the students, faculty and staff of the University of Michigan.
Schlissel’s response to the petition addressed harassment on both sides of the debate, and blamed some of what the campus has been experiencing on Trump supporters.
It then acknowledged that there are two side, though, saying Trump supporters have “also been shouted at and accused of being racist because of their political views.”