Is Our Campus Biased Against Trump Supporters?

My name is Tommy Kyle, a senior here on campus, and I am a proud Trump supporter. I am a strong supporter of Donald Trump, and I have worn Trump T-shirts, hats and even have two Trump posters in my dorm room along with a Trump flag on the wall.  

This story is regarding one of my Trump posters. It is a small sign that says “Make America Great Again” and has been on my window for two weeks.

But, one evening last week, I was told by my Resident Assistant that this poster needed to be taken down because it was a “fire hazard”. I asked why it was a fire hazard, and I was told that “any posters, flags or signs could not be in the window,” but like a curtain attached away from the wall would be acceptable.  

I am a good student, and I always follow the rules. But this is absolutely ridiculous. It is not a fire hazard, because it is on the top portion of the window and it is pressed against the glass, away from the moving bottom portion so it does not interfere in the way of the window. According to the Student Code of Conduct Section K states “Room decorations that violate fire code (hanging anything from the ceiling or windows…)” but my small poster is pressed against the window which is not a violation of the code of the conduct.

Nine times out of 10, I would have taken it down and followed the rules, but this is not the first time a Trump supporter has been told to take down a sign or flag. My friend lives in the apartment complex on campus, which is not far away from my residence hall, and he had a Trump flag in the window for the first week of the school back in August. He was told the same thing by Residence Life, and because it was “offensive” he took it down.  

But, during this week, he noticed several other LGBT flags hanging in other windows in the apartment complex that violated the same rules that my friend and I were called out for. My friend proceeded to put back up the flag in the window, and Residence Life came back again to report it. But my friend told them about the LGBT flags that were hanging in the window and asked why they weren’t taken down? Residence Life couldn’t respond back and the flag still hangs in my friend’s dorm room, which is a small victory.

So why is this a big deal? I feel as if much of our community at the Mount either supports Mr. Trump while the rest of our campus including upper management is liberal and doesn’t want signs of Trump hanging to show support for the Republican candidate. I disagree 110% because it is our right to “freedom of speech” and being able to support one candidate that we think is best for the White House in November.

So this is why I write this story, to show awareness and question the bias towards Trump supporters, who have done absolutely nothing wrong, except show support for a great candidate like Mr. Trump. Please spread the word, and let’s end this bias.
Tommy Kyle

7 thoughts on “Is Our Campus Biased Against Trump Supporters?

  • September 28, 2016 at 10:42 am
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    During my senior year of college, I protested the blue/pink crosses that were always put out each year in front of the library. I am Pro choice and had a HUGE sign in my A23 apt living room window that said it was a woman’s choice to choose and a few other things. I was asked to take my poster down and did not oblige. The worst that happened was a talking to and an article in the MSM newspaper. Like Trump, abortion is a hot button topic and perhaps a few people commented on the trump paraphernalia and were uncomfortable.

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    • September 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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      Hey Heather,
      That’s exactly what has happened to me, I had to meet with the Dean and discuss it because I posted on social media about it. I agree, it may be a sensitive subject but I just don’t understand the logic behind it because I was told the school doesn’t want to promote any aesthetic based items on their windows but I can use my Trump flag which is 10x bigger as a curtain than that sign I had on my window. But thanks for commenting!

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  • September 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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    Just to get this out there now, I despise Donald Trump. That being said, I believe in freedom of speech, which I realize sets me apart from most liberals of my generation.
    Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you that Res Life pulled this same stunt on me when I was a student there. I put a PROLIFE SIGN in my room window in Bicen, and some lady from Res Life came and told me to take it down because it’s a “fire hazard.” I called the Emmitsburg Fire Department and spoke to a real live fireman and told him the situation. He said that a poster board in a window is NOT a fire hazard. Just let that sink in for a minute. I was made to take down a PROLIFE sign at a CATHOLIC university.
    What I’m about to tell you I know from personal experience: Res Life does not care about freedom of speech. They do not care what the Code of Student Conduct says. They make up their own rules as they go along and they answer to no one but themselves. It was like that when I was a student there. Apparently, it’s still like that now. Don’t take the sign down. Stand up for yourself, fellow Mountie.
    Aaron Blair, Class of 13

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    • September 29, 2016 at 1:19 pm
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      Hey Aaron,
      I appreciate your comments and it’s been a weird two weeks for sure from Res Life. I just had a meeting with the Dean and he told this “fire hazard” thing is not true but rather they don’t want to promote aesthetically based things on their windows, so I took the sign down but they said I could use my flag for Trump as a “curtain”. My sign is very small, which is illegal in their minds but my flag which is 10x bigger is legal as a curtain? So I’m happy that I can now promote my beliefs and still follow the rules.

      Tommy Kyle

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  • September 30, 2016 at 7:10 am
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    That’s good I guess. When you say you met with “the Dean,” I assume you mean Ken McVearry, who, as far as I know, is the current Dean of Students. So, he actually admitted to you that your RA lied to you when they said it was a fire hazard? Did he offer an apology for the lie, or at least an explanation as to why RAs are trained to lie to the students?
    When I was a student there, and this similar incident happened to me in the fall of 2010 with my anti-abortion sign, Res Life was run by entirely different people. As far as I know, none of the people who worked in Res Life then still work there now, but it seems that the culture of lying to students has persisted six years later, since I was given the same (false) reason that you were.

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  • September 30, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    Tom,
    Many years ago when I was a Mount student (1958-61) a classmate of mine displayed Nazi paraphernalia in his room all four years and he graduated with us in ’61.
    But we didn’t have a ‘Residence Life’ office at that time.
    Good luck and God bless you.

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  • October 24, 2016 at 7:09 pm
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    Funny… no one seemed to care about this rule when all the “Team Newman” signs were in all the dorm windows last year. Seems like a lot of other people have similar experiences. If they don’t want signs in the windows, fine. Just be consistent about enforcing the rule.

    Reply

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