Politics

College President Coddles Trump-Traumatized Students

Texas State promises more police patrols, safe spaces for the 'alarmed, anxious, marginalized ... and hurt'

The safe spaces keep on coming.

Texas State University is the latest U.S. college to reach out to students to let them know they are loved and safe in the aftermath of the 2016 election.

“Although many members of our campus community are pleased with the outcome of the election, many more of the ones who wrote to me are feeling alarmed, anxious, marginalized, unwelcome, disrespected, targeted, and hurt.”

The message came in the form of a post-holiday open letter from Texas State President Denise M. Trauth, who said the university will provide an “academically vital, safe, and sacred space that promotes civility, dialogue, discussion, debate, and the free and unfettered exchange of ideas, opinions, thoughts, and theories.”

The letter was spurred by numerous messages and letters sent to Trauth that expressed a “range of conflicting emotions that were battling for my attention.  My heart felt deeply sad to read and hear that members of our campus community not only question their safety but also question whether I am concerned about their safety.”

Trauth did not mention President-Elect Donald Trump and his successful election, but she did mention that a deluge of letters to her office have come in following the election, claiming students suddenly felt the campus was unsafe.

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“Although many members of our campus community are pleased with the outcome of the election, many more of the ones who wrote to me are feeling alarmed, anxious, marginalized, unwelcome, disrespected, targeted, and hurt due to divisive rhetoric and unkind acts that have occurred across our country, in our cities and towns, and at our university,” Trauth wrote.

One reason for this fear could have been “vigilante” posters placed around the San Marcos, Texas, campus after the presidential election.

The posters were allegedly placed around campus and read, “Now that our man [Donald Trump] is elected and Republicans own both the senate and the house – time to organize tar and feather vigilante squads and go arrest and torture those deviate [sic] university leaders spouting off all this diversity garbage.”

Texas State officials were not amused. They said the posters constituted a criminal act and police would look into who posted them.

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But anti-Trump students then took the opportunity to call for the 39,000-student Texas State campus to become a sanctuary campus for illegal immigrants.

Trauth said in her letter that she would consider it.

“I have become aware of a growing national movement to support the needs of immigrant students and a petition that is circulating at our University,” Trauth wrote. “I am reviewing these initiatives and determining what the University’s role should be.”

Trauth should be wary of declaring Texas State a sanctuary campus, however. On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to ban sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State, and to cut funding to them.

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“Yes. I’m going to sign a law that bans sanctuary cities. Also I’ve already issued an order cutting funding to sanctuary cities. #txlege,” the Texas governor tweeted Sunday.

Texas State was founded in 1899 in the Austin area to train public school teachers.

meet the author

Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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