Opinion: College students should not tolerate Trump

He's a bigot and his policies harm students

Even though tolerance is crucial across ASU campuses, there is a difference between having an opposing political opinion and accepting a president who threatens the well-being of our nation and its citizens. 

When it comes to supporting the Trump administration, a line must be drawn. And it's a line that no students, even and especially those who identify as conservatives, should cross. 

The growing absurdity of the Trump administration is something college students especially should be concerned about, particularly because of his policies affecting university regulations. 

In the past month, Trump and  Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have taken steps to roll back crucial Obama-era regulations regarding gainful employment and borrower defense. 

These rules were introduced with the intention to hold for-profit schools accountable if their graduates are unable to pay back student loans and if students have in some way been defrauded by a university.

In The Washington Post, Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reported that lawmakers feel these actions may be unfair especially to students of color who, "at higher rates enroll in for-profit schools." With the Department of Education's new guidelines, the amount of defrauded students with a recourse for action in these cases would be significantly limited. 

The second is new U.S. campus sexual misconduct guidelines. Trump's administration has altered the rules so that universities are held accountable only for assaults that have taken place on campus and have been formally reported and filed. In addition, the new rules increase the burden of evidence required for universities to rule on cases of misconduct.  

Advocates of the changes believe that this will cut down on bureaucracy and protect the rights of the accused by narrowing the definition of sexual assault. 

But the rule change incorrectly implies that there is an epidemic of false accusations of sexual assault and could discourage victims from reporting their assaults. Given the national conversation about sexual misconduct, it's irresponsible to shift the blame in these cases to victims, making it harder for them to seek justice.

Right-leaning political clubs on campus such as the College Republicans or Turning Point USA ASU should make it a point to not normalize the behavior that Trump exhibits, not only because he is a threat to American democracy but also because he does not hold the best interests of college students.

In addition, Republican student groups cannot hide behind party ideology because Trump is not traditionally Republican. He's a political shapeshifter who seeks power over any coherent platform. 

“He was definitely not a conservative," said Gina Woodall, a senior lecturer in the School of Politics and Global Studies. "When you look at the Republican party platform, they’re pro-life for example and he was not. He’s waffled on gay marriage throughout the last several decades and I don’t really think he had an opinion on foreign policy prior (to his presidency).” 

Read More: College students should understand that Trump does not represent all Republicans

Not only does Trump stray away from traditional party values and policies, he has also been the center of multiple scandals and controversies. These controversies range from sexual assault and harassment accusations to his “zero tolerance policy” that led to immigrant families being torn apart at the border.

His rhetoric has even led to decreases in international student registration at American universities.

With November midterms coming up, now is the time for students to take to the voting booths to rebuke the bigotry and anti-education policies of the Trump administration, not just as students but as human beings.


Reach the reporter at ajmistry@asu.edu or follow @jay_mistry52 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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