TEXAS – The surprising election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president is having its negative impact in campuses nationwide, where new flyers rejecting diversity are spreading like fire across different universities.
“A lot of Muslim students are scared,” Abdalla Husain, 21, a linguistics major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who is of Palestinian ancestry, told The New York Times on Friday, November 11.
He said some Muslim students on campus were afraid to go outside. “They’re scared that Trump has empowered people who have hate and would be hostile to them.”
Husain fear was justified.
After a year of work at campuses to push for greater respect for diversity, hostility flyers were spreading across the country.
In Texas State University, fliers depicting men in camouflage, wielding guns and an American flag, appeared in men’s restrooms.
“Now that our man Trump is elected,” they said. “Time to organize tar and feather vigilante squads and go arrest and torture those deviant university leaders spouting off that diversity garbage,” it read.
At San Jose State University in California, a Muslim woman complained that she had been grabbed by her hijab and choked. The police are investigating.
At Wellesley College in Massachusetts, alma mater of Hillary Clinton, two male students from nearby Babson College drove through campus in a pickup truck adorned with a large Trump flag, parked outside a meeting house for black students, and spat at a black female student, according to campus black student organizations.
Reports of hostility toward minorities were not limited to university campuses.
In Durham, North Carolina, walls facing a busy intersection were painted with graffiti Tuesday night with the message, “Black lives don’t matter and neither does your votes,” according to local news reports.
A baseball dugout in Wellsville, New York, was spray painted with a swastika and the message “Make America white again,” local reports said.
Another swastika, replacing the “T” in Trump, appeared on a storefront in Philadelphia, along with “Sieg heil 2016.”
At Canisius College in Buffalo, in what officials said began as a prank, a black doll was photographed hanging from a curtain rod in a dorm room on Tuesday night.
“One student created a meme with language about ‘Trump fans’ and sent it to friends,” a university statement said.
“It’s evident that what may have started as a thoughtless, insensitive prank earlier in the evening in the elevator degraded into a very offensive, inappropriate act later that night,” said the statement by John J. Hurley, the college president.
Several universities were holding meetings for concerned students.
“Join us for a moment of reflection and gathering of solidarity,” the Office of Multicultural Students wrote in an invitation on Wednesday. “Counseling center staff will be available.”
The University of Southern California invited students who had concerns about the election to attend a meeting on Wednesday. About 100 showed up, said Michael Quick, the provost.
“We’re hearing a lot from our students, particularly our Muslim students, given the rhetoric of the campaign,” he said.
“Given the feeling of many students from last year who expressed concerns about diversity and inclusion, now they’re feeling tremendously marginalized,” he added.
A note signed by Stanford University’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, said it would offer “supportive resources and opportunities to gather together” in the wake of the divisive election season.
Columbia University scheduled what it called a “post-election conversation and reflection” for its students Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, graduate journalism students at Columbia requested a meeting with faculty members.
Denise Cervantes, 20, who writes for the student newspaper and is Latina, said she was spat on by a male student wearing a Trump 2016 shirt, who told her she did not belong there anymore.
“I didn’t realize that it would get this bad all of a sudden,” Cervantes said.
Increasing concerns and fear appeared in protest in different campuses, including Texas.
“This is only two days after,” said Emily Sharp, 21, a senior majoring in communications.
“I’m worried that we’re going to see other people doing these things and thinking it’s OK.”