West Chester University Tells Students: ‘Our University is Committed to the Free Exchange of Ideas’ ahead of Trump Campaign Rally

upporters depart a Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rally in Bridgeport on April 23, 2016 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Under a heavy police presence, the afternoon event was disrupted on a number of occasions by protesters. Despite his advisers pledging that Trump will begin using a more presidential tone in his …
Washington, DC

West Chester University Interim President Chris Fiorentino is reminding students that promoting open dialogue is critical to democracy in a video message published in anticipation of Donald Trump’s Monday afternoon campaign rally on campus.

Many students say they are outraged the Republican frontrunner will be speaking on campus and protests are anticipated.

Fiorentino issued the video message in anticipation of the protests telling students, “As a public institution that encourages open dialogue and has a long tradition of hosting candidates for public office, we agreed to let our facilities be used for this rally.”

Understandably, there have been strong reactions from our campus community. While many disagree with Mr. Trump’s positions, it is important to remember our university is committed to the free exchange of ideas. Indeed, one of the great hallmarks of our American democracy is that all of us have the right to disagree.

“We encourage those that plan to protest to do so in accordance with the principles of civility that are a fundamental value of West Chester University,” he said, adding that there will be security at the event.

West Chester University student group, “Students for a Democratic Society,” announced on Sunday that they plan to protest at Trump’s event.

“We the students do not accept the racist, homophobic, and anti-woman Trump,” a spokesperson for the group stated. “He is free to speak his mind, but not at our campus.”