HIGH POINT, NC- Tickets for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s High Point University visit are sold out, but a group of students and alumni will not be showing up.
Steven Edwards, now a grad student, attended High Point University as an undergrad.
He said he and other alumni are upset the university is giving a platform to a person who they say uses racist, sexist and violent speech.
“High Point has been our home, a place where we felt safe, a place where we felt comfortable,” Edwards said. “Giving a platform to this man just doesn’t stand with the values that we feel as students.”
Edwards and a group of other students from several campus organizations have organized a protest for tomorrow at David Hayworth Park from 10 a.m. to noon. He expects between fifty and one hundred students to come out.
Senior Elizabeth Reichart will be one of them.
“The problem is, is that Donald Trump is not providing access to an innovator,” Reichart said. “It's providing access to spite, and hateful rhetoric. And that's not welcome on our campus. That's not inspiring our students. That's not changing the atmosphere for the better on our campus.”
A High Point university spokesperson said the Donald Trump campaign reached out to the university, and they agreed to host the visit.
The university issued this statement:
“HPU is committed to offering its students access to speakers with a diverse range of viewpoints and perspectives. When HPU hosts a speaker on campus, it is not an endorsement. Rather, it is an opportunity for students to engage in the democratic process and gain knowledge and information that allows them to make independent and informed decisions and form their own thoughts and opinions.
We would also accept requests from other candidates, such as when former United States President Bill Clinton visited HPU to campaign for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. In 2002, former United States President George W. Bush also visited campus to speak about health care.”
Donald Trump is expected to speak at the Millis Center at noon. Doors open at 10 a.m.
Access to campus will be closed tomorrow except for students, faculty and staff who have an HPU ID. Rally goers are asked to park at Oak Hollow Mall. Campaign shuttles will bring them to the Millis Center.
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