Gettysburg students erect 'Trump Wall' in school library
The Gettysburg College Anti-Capitalist Collective (GACC) assembled a “Trump wall” made of paper boxes in the school’s library labeled, “THIS IS THE WALL THAT TRUMP IS BUILDING.”
Seven individual signs plastered on the boxes raised criticisms of Trump’s executive order on immigration, laws pertaining to violence against police officers, the U.S. military presence in Yemen, and several Trump appointees.
“They claim all these things are racist just because they go against the GACC agenda.”
“1//28/2017 (Day 8): STEVE BANNON ON NSC. Trump names former editor of Breitbart news and his chief strategist Steve Bannon to the Principals Committee (PC) of the National Security Council (NSC),” one of the signs states before going on to assert that “Breitbart news is unfamous as a haven for white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and anti-semitists. Bannon himself has a record of anti-semitism (from his divorce proceedings), and islamophobia (from his infamous ‘why let them in?’ comments).”
“Senate votes 51-50 confirming Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education with a tiebreaking vote from VP Mike Pence, the first ever,” declares another sign. “DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor and fundraiser with little experience in education, is a lifetime supporter of private and for-profit schools, and has a history of seeking to divert funds from vulnerable public schools” [emphasis in original].
Dan Cresci, a sophomore at Gettysburg College, told Campus Reform that he doesn’t believe the claims against Sessions and Bannon were a sufficient enough argument.
“Their main claims against Sessions and Bannon weren’t about their qualifications, but only that they are ‘racists’ and ‘white nationalists,” he pointed out. “They claim all these things are racist just because they go against the GACC agenda.”
Another student took no stance on the box display, but emphasized that the campus library should be kept as an area for studying, not political controversy.
“While I think exercising the right to free speech is imperative in a democracy, I feel as though the library is an inappropriate location for such demonstrations, regardless of my views on the sentiments expressed,” Guilia DiGuglielmo told Campus Reform. “The library should remain a quiet, inviting place where students can focus on their studies: the reason they are on this campus.”
Two students, however, while unaffiliated with the GACC, did express support for the display.
“The wall is a way to show headlines and events that have happened since Trump was elected to students who might not be aware of their occurrence,” Zach Rhodes innocently described the exhibit. “It is important to have a physical record of some decisions the administration has made in a time where information moves in and out of consciousness quickly.”
Similarly, Claire Bickertold opined that “the Trump Wall is a good representation of the damage that he is doing to the country,” adding that “it allows us to remember how fast the country is deteriorating.”
Jerome Clark, the current President of GACC at Gettysburg College, did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment, and it remains unclear how long the display will remain in the Musselman Library or whether the student group plans on updating it with further information about the Trump administration.
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