Rutgers cracks down on disruptions, blasted as pro-Trump
Rutgers University’s Board of Directors recently approved a policy cracking down on disruptive demonstrations, though protesters are calling it a tacit endorsement of President Trump.
The policy, approved in April, amends the student code of conduct to prohibit the obstruction of traffic, blocking buildings’ entrances or exits, interfering with scheduled speakers, disturbing scheduled events, damaging property, or engaging “in other activities that disrupt university business or infringe upon the rights of others,” according to TapInto.Net
Richard Roper, member of the Board of Governors, explained that the change was necessary “in order to more clearly define the criteria of a disruption so the university community can easily identify when conduct will be considered to intentionally or recklessly interfere with the university’s operations or infringe upon the rights of other members of the community.”
Now, however, members of the Rutgers chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) are calling the policy change a direct threat to the school’s brief history of anti-Trump activism.
“The third point is that this is the wrong time to do this. You, the Board, are not supposed to politicize Rutgers, so after five months of steady protest against the Trump agenda by our students and faculty, you decide to strengthen this policy,” remarked David Hughes, current vice president of AAUP at Rutgers, at a recent Board meeting, where several protesters gathered to voice their dissent to the new policy.
“That is sending the wrong message statewide and nationwide,” Hughes continued. “You’ve put the Board and all Queens in the camp of favoring the Trump agenda against these protesters.”
Similarly, Hughes delivered a letter to the Board, obtained by MyCentral Jersey.com, wherein he ridicules the school’s leaders for enacting “these changes without the slightest discussion or consultation inside or beyond the university community.”
“The resultant policy threatens to undermine political, religious, and other forms of speech on campus—and, thereby, to narrow the creativity and plurality of opinion characteristic of Rutgers,” he continued, again reiterating his belief that the policy lends support to the nation’s president.
“Coming after five months of local and national protest against Trump’s election, the new policy seeks to gag dissent,” Hughes wrote. “Your actions, thereby, lend implicit support to Trump’s agenda.”
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