UNM scraps Trump Hotel ad amid student backlash

The University of New Mexico removed a Facebook ad promoting a stay at a Trump Hotel as a contest prize after backlash from students and alumni.

On Friday, UNM’s athletics department posted the ad, which prompted students to enter a giveaway to win a three-night stay at one of the 11 Trump Hotels, according to the Daily Lobo

“When your school claims to be all about diversity and acceptance but has a paid partnership with Trump Hotels,” student Javi tweeted. “I guess it makes sense considering there’s a lawsuit against UNM for its inability to help a female student after she was raped.”

Meanwhile, alumna Ivey McClelland tweeted that she was “thoroughly disgusted,” citing an article describing UNM pulling the ad.

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Animosity toward the ad didn’t just come from Twitter. UNM student Ry Dozier-Lerum, a freshman, called the post “alarming,” according to the Albuquerque Journal. She described the ad as “kind of careless,” particularly because UNM is “such a diverse university.”

UNM’s Associated Students noted its concern in a statement obtained by the  Daily Lobo.

“[We] hope this incident will be an opportunity for administrators and leaders across campus to reflect on the tumultuous climate students navigate,” the student government said in a statement obtained by the Daily Lobo

But the ad was not up for long.

“This particular ad was approved for social media distribution last year,” UNM said, according to the Daily Lobo. “Due to concerns about the broken link, as well as fan responses, we decided to remove the ad.”

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Outrage over the post was not universal. Emilie Reese, a junior at UNM, held no objections to the ad.

“If the university was actively promoting Trump or Hillary Clinton or any political leader...I could see why that maybe should be taken down. But what it sounds like to me is not an active support of one political party or another. It’s just a sweepstake[s],” Reese told Campus Reform.

Reese also said that the whole situation was blown way out of proportion and the controversy behind it all is “a little dumb.” 

“I’m so surprised that this is big enough of an issue that they had to take it down,” she told Campus Reform.

Additionally, Reese felt like the students who opposed the ad were just being “naysayers,” noting the fact that they did not have to sign up for the giveaway. 

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“The sweepstakes is totally optional,” she said. “Why ruin it for everybody?”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @the_katie_joy