UNH will not punish Trump supporters dressed as Harambe, Nixon
The University of New Hampshire will not expel the two Trump supporters who counter-protested a walkout dressed as Harambe and Richard Nixon.
After a former UNH professor posted a photo of the two students on her Facebook page, several current professors called for their expulsion, writing that the Harambe costume was “harassing, intimidating, and racist.”
“We will also make clear with all units the importance of not using university resources for partisan purposes.”
“Somebody knows who these two students are, who dressed as Nixon and Harambe,” Siobhan Senier, english professor asserted. “And whatever their intent, it seems that a conversation with them is in order.”
English lecturer Molly Campbell claimed the student dressed as Nixon was throwing pacifiers at protesters, although the student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Campus Reform he was only handing them out.
According to The Union Leader, school officials announced they would not seek to punish the two students, nor the professors who called for their expulsion, although several of the professors have since changed their names and photos on their Facebook profiles.
UNH President Mark Huddleston did, however, say that the UNH legal team would “review the facts” of accusations that the Women’s Studies Program improperly used its Facebook page and department resources for partisan political activity.
One such alleged abuse was inviting students to create posters for the anti-Trump walkout where professors encountered the costumed Trump supporters.
“Where there has been a clear violation of the university policy prohibiting the use of institutional resources for partisan purposes, the university will take appropriate action,” Huddleston wrote in an op-ed for the Union Leader. “We will also make clear with all units the importance of not using university resources for partisan purposes.”
Huddleston warned that he was “not willing to rush to judgment” regarding the posts, but assured that “UNH is working with its legal counsel in a thorough and deliberate way to review the facts in these two cases.”
The department’s Facebook page has since been deleted.
In addition to concerns about “permissable and impermissable political expression,” Huddleston also noted in an email to the university community an “increase in hate incidents.”
According to the university president, students and faculty members have been subjected to “vitriolic voicemails” and harassment from “Internet trolls,” as well as in-person incidents such as “spitting” and “racial slurs.”
“We condemn all such acts and reiterate that we are committed to a diverse, inclusive, and safe campus environment,” Huddleston stressed. “The attitudes and acts of a few cannot overtake our community if we stand together and say ‘not in our house.’”
Fosters.com suggested the president’s message was “in response to an article posted Monday on the conservative-leaning news site Campus Reform, ‘UNH profs call for expulsion of Trump supporters.’”
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