Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

My name is Will Halko, and I am a sophomore psychology major that remains an active member of the West Chester University community. I am writing to express my immense disappointment in the decisions that have been made during this spring semester.

Before I am dismissed as merely another screaming liberal demanding that our campus be turned into a sterile, safe space, I ask that you kindly consider my points of contention.

First and foremost, I firmly believe it was a mistake to allow Donald Trump’s campaign to visit what may be one of the most actively liberal college campuses I have ever set foot on.

I express this frustration in light of our spring concert, as well as numerous student-run musical events, being shut down and labeled by our borough as a public disturbance. If we as an institution are to commit to offering a diverse educational experience, it is shameful to see such hypocrisy take place.

According to virtually any major news outlet of your choice, Trump rallies have become synonymous with public intoxication, civil disobedience and perhaps most importantly, violence. The tension that they incite is harmful and puts excessive strain on not just the student body, but the law enforcement who will be tirelessly laboring to contain the havoc.

The decision to allow this particular event to take place was one that I found to be reckless, embarrassing and overall flagrantly disrespectful to the student population.

In short, I fail to see how a rap concert is any more harmful to a college community than a man who is on record making fun of  women, the handicapped, immigrants and the Black Lives Matter movement.

At this point in my letter, I can only hope you are beginning to realize just how much of our campus demographic my aforementioned list makes up. These are the same people who I see hard at work around campus, tabling, canvasing and organizing any event they can to improve our university’s social climate. It is so shameful to see their hard work insulted, even just for one day.

“The decision to allow this particular event to take place was one that I found to be reckless, embarrassing and overall flagrantly disrespectful to the student population.”

Of the many Pennsylvania state- funded schools I have visited in the past, WCU is the first I have seen to  not offer their student body an entertaining event as a way of thanking them for lining their pockets. The disturbance this rally is going to cause far outweighs any benefits that could come from Mr. Trump’s self-promotion and angry rhetoric.

Our students try as hard as they can every day to be proud of the school they attend, and we as a whole feel neglected. We are sick of the mediocrity, and we are tired of our voices being ignored. This rally shows no commitment to “upholding an academic learning environment that engages a variety of thoughts, opinions and expressions,” as an email from Rebecca Hook stated. If it did, we would have other candidates, performers and artists visiting our campus.

Instead, we are left with one – Donald Trump, a candidate that, as I hope you will soon see, a significant portion of our student body deplores. On behalf of countless other West Chester Rams, I would have urged our administration to reconsider their decision regarding this rally, and since it must still occur, we ask for the courtesy of bringing other diverse speakers and performers to campus.

Numerous other candidates who don’t hold rallies that are associated with full-fledged debauchery, I am sure, would have been happy to stop by and speak to us.

Finally, why on earth would we incite civil unrest and disobedience mere days before some of us will be taking final exams and handing in term papers? I cannot possibly just be speaking for myself when I say that a stroll to the library the week before finals shouldn’t involve an onslaught of TSA and Secret Service agents.

I want to make it perfectly salient that agreeing to hold this rally on our property is far more than just an inconvenience to us, the student body.

An online petition has since been created and signed by thousands of students who wish to peacefully and respectfully respond to a situation we find void of reason and moral character. I encourage any WCU student to sign this petition, and be as peacefully active as you wish in the coming days. I beg that you let charges of “crybaby college millennials” and “safe-space advocates” fall on deaf ears.

I urge that you carry-on in voicing your discontent in a respectful and orderly manner, in spite of anyone’s assertions that you “just can’t handle the truth.” We hope our voice is heard clearly and we hope that shortly WCU will return to being an institution that we can be excited to tell our families about at the dinner table, and not a place that makes us shake our heads in collective discontent. We can do better. I know we can.

Will Halko is a second-year student majoring in  psychology. He can be reached at WH822741@wcupa.edu.

3 thoughts on “Student speaks out over Trump rally hypocrisy”
  1. ‘we ask for the courtesy of bringing other diverse speakers and performers to campus’.
    Now, I’m not going to go too hard on you, but, I know as a 19 year old who reads Huffington Post on a daily basis, you have a lot of opinions that others have told you to have. When you referenced ‘Diversity’, I don’t think Donald Trump is included in that sense of diversity. For such a liberal campus, you think they would embrace a little diversity? See, to a ‘liberal campus’, Donald Trump is diversity. I find it odd that you have a problem with Donald Trump, but not with the disgusting Frat/Sorority culture, or the incessant sexual assault you hear about ever Friday/Saturday/Sunday morning, or the alcohol culture the school promotes, or all the litter around campus, etc. For such a liberal campus, it’s pretty gross. This school is a facade. It’s a place where middle-class white kids go and pat each other on the back and congratulate each other for how open minded they are when the rest of the world suffers. Stop acting like it’s anything more.

  2. “If we as an institution are to commit to offering a diverse educational experience, it is shameful to see such hypocrisy take place.”

    I would have thought that “hypocrisy” is committing to diverse educational experiences, then banning people who think differently than you.

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