To The Upper Administration and Faculty of West Chester University:
My name is James Foster and I am an English education major, former United States Marine and, up until April 23, proud of my association with West Chester University. I received an email at 6:35 a.m. from Ms. Rebecca Hook informing me of the Donald Trump rally that would be taking place on Monday, April 25. I cannot express in words my utter disappointment with this decision by the staff of WCU.
In the email, Ms. Hook states, “we do not endorse the views of any political party or candidate.”
Just because this is stated does not mean it truly reflects how this whole event will be portrayed to the public.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly proven himself to be a misogynistic, xenophobic, racist fear-monger over the last several months of his campaign for the presidency. This is an individual who has said:
On Muslims: “They’re not coming to this country if I’m president.” – GOP Debate, Dec 2015.
On women: “If Hilary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband, what makes you think she can satisfy America?” – Twitter, April 2015.
On veterans: “He’s a hero because he was captured. I liked people who weren’t captured.” – Family Leadership Summit, July 2015.
These are just three examples of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric that I felt appropriate to share with the administration of WCU.
A simple internet search will result in many equally appalling lines. These are statements of an individual who is more than just a hot topic in the headlines; he is a bane on our cultural identity.
When I went to find the email for whom to send this letter to, I was directed to the Office of the President web page. There is a slide show of photos on the page for President Christopher Fiorentino.
One can see President Fiorentino making a speech at the 18th Annual Conference for the National Association for Multicultural Education in Pennsylvania. There is also a photo of President Fiorentino standing by students bearing “Green Dot Day” stickers, representing awareness of adult violence and bullying.
Both of these photos reflect the antithesis of what Mr. Trump represents and has been saying for the last several months. I find it appalling that our school would offer Mr. Trump a place to spread his hateful rhetoric.
If any student, faculty or West Chester resident walks through the center of campus, they are greeted by a statue of Civil Rights activist and anti-slavery writer Frederick Douglas. Just last year, WCU hosted a round table discussion featuring political activist Ruby Sales. Last Friday, the Diversity Awareness Program was at WCU.
How does the university then take a complete turn and open its field house for an individual who is a complete contrast to what all of these events are trying to promote: peace and unity.
Mr. Trump is tearing our country apart and creating a horrible political climate. If we as a university allow him to continue his hate speech in our buildings, we are simply endorsing this individual’s prejudice by our actions regardless of what the official policy claims.
I fear what having Mr. Trump at our university will say about us as students, educators and citizens.
James Foster is a second-year student majoring in English education. He can be reached at JF613640@wcupa.edu.