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SDS calls to ‘Dump Trump!’ at University of Houston, students oppose Republican debate

By Fabian Van Onzin |
February 10, 2016
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Houston, TX - A Republican debate is scheduled for the University of Houston on Feb. 26. In response, Students for a Democratic Society are calling for a protest to “Dump Trump!” Students are demanding the University of Houston oppose, instead of host, the Republican agenda of fear, hatred, racism and war.

The University's vice chancellor Richie C. Hunter stated, "This event will shine an international spotlight on our campus, offering an opportunity to highlight our student successes, research innovations and unmatched school spirit. As the University becomes a part of political history, the debate will further confirm our status as one of the country’s powerhouse institutions."

Alex Hayes with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) said, "We are outraged that the university would host Republicans such as Donald Trump. Inviting racist bigots like Donald Trump does not promote democratic debate, discussion and diversity, but instead gives right-wing extremists a mouthpiece to propagate their message of hate."

Hayes continued, “There are a lot of African American, Latino, Asian and Middle Eastern students at the University of Houston. We in Students for a Democratic Society are appalled that the board of regents would allow Donald Trump to speak at our school. Allowing Trump on our campus undermines the very diversity on which our school is based and is a direct attack on Chicano, Mexican and African American students, faculty and staff."

The Houston branch of SDS delivered a letter to the board of regents denouncing the statements of Vice Chancellor Hunter. The students demand that the University of Houston change the location of the Republican candidates’ debate and issue a clear statement. When SDS students visited the office of the board of the regents, they asked to meet with a board member to discuss the matter. Their request was declined.

After delivering the letter, SDS distributed over 400 leaflets to students opposing Donald Trump speaking at the University of Houston. They also asked students to call or email Vice Chancellor Richie C. Hunter and demand the University of Houston change the location of the debate. In addition to leafleting students, leaflets were posted in every building on campus and placed in all of the faculty mailboxes.

Alex Hayes explained, “When we told students Trump was coming to their school, many of them were surprised, and a few outraged. It is clear that the university has tried to hide from the students that they are allowing racist bigots such as Donald Trump to speak at their school.”

Hayes finished, “Students for a Democratic Society demands that the Republican debate not be held at the University of Houston and that Donald Trump not be allowed to set foot on our campus. We want our university to be a place of learning, critical thinking and education, not a place for racist bigots to voice hate speech."