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Contextualizing Trump's presidency on a Jesuit campus

politics

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Loyola University Maryland

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Contextualizing Trump's presidency on a Jesuit campus

Why complacency persists in an institution dedicated to justice

Maggie Lewis

11.7.17

There is often a struggle at our university between what fits our values and what the administration is willing to regulate and enforce. Loyola should be, and to a certain extent is, trying to connect with our local Baltimore community and the greater Jesuit community. As an institution “for and with others,” we are morally responsible to think critically and live justly.

This includes staying up to date on current events, having meaningful dialogue with people of all backgrounds and beliefs, and being politically engaged enough to understand that displaying a Trump flag in your dorm or wearing a ‘MAGA’ hat around campus replicates hate symbolism and has deep repercussions.

On November 29th, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report on hate-motivated incidents since the election. The report reveals that nearly 900 incidents, mainly on college campuses and in K-12 schools, were reported in the 10 days following Donald Trump’s election as president. These assaults were rooted in hate for varying groups including immigrants, Muslims, African Americans, women, and the LGBTQ + community.

While the report reveals numerous sources of motivation, all the incidents relate directly back to the election and the tone of the Trump campaign. Among the incidents, most victims reported these acts of intolerance as taking place in public and in an unashamed manner, unlike anything they had experienced prior to Trump’s victory.

This data, along with numerous other reports and articles, should be evidence enough that affiliation or support of this administration is hateful, harmful, and is not synonymous with the values of diversity, community, and justice.

Loyola has clearly defined values and visions, and yet there seems to be nothing in place to effectively enforce or uphold our mission. While it is understandable that Loyola did not make any clear stances or release any statements pre-election, it is absurd that the amount of hate and complacency on our campus has continued this long post-election.

After Trump announced the rescission of the DACA program, Loyola was one of two Jesuit Universities, out of twenty-eight nationwide, whose president did not issue a statement in defense of the program.

The administration did not provide any resources or comment on any of the rollbacks made by Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, when cuts were made in regards to campus sexual assault investigations.

The cycle of inaction from Loyola’s leadership is nothing new, and the lack of action and concern from a large chunk of the student body, staff, and faculty is unacceptable. Colleges and universities across the country have taken varied approaches to student support and engagement in the wake of the election cycle. These options include self-care guides, opportunities for artistic action, school sponsored discussions, and opportunities for activism and political engagement, and Anti-Hate community engagement, among many others.

Some clubs and groups on Loyola’s campus have taken direct action and have been helpful and consistent resources for students, but the university as a whole has been negligent in their role of being “committed to the educational and spiritual traditions of the Society of Jesus and to the ideals of liberal education and the development of the whole person.”

Peace and love.