Dozens of students were scared and concerned when slogans supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump written in chalk appeared on sidewalks and buildings at Emory University in Atlanta on the morning of March 21.
The Tab published pictures of the chalkings, which said: "Trump 2016," "Trump" and "Vote Trump."
Later in the day, about 40 students protested outside the campus administration building with signs that said “Stop Trump” and “Stop Hate,” notes The Emory Wheel.
The students chanted to school President James W. Wagner: “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!”
The students also shouted, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
It's not clear what "chains" the students were referring to, but they went inside the building and shared their feelings with Wagner.
“How can you not [disavow Trump] when Trump’s platform and his values undermine Emory’s values that I believe are diversity and inclusivity when they are obviously not [something that Trump supports],” one student, in tears, stated, notes The Emory Wheel.
“Banning Muslims?" another student asked. "How is that something Emory supports?”
The students went on to ask Wagner, “What do we have to do for you to listen to us?” and he replied, "What actions should I take?”
One student wanted Wagner to send an email to the entire campus that would “decry the support for this fascist, racist candidate,” who is also the front-runner for the the Republican Party nomination and could be the next president.
Wagner refused to do so, and another student said, “[T]he University doesn’t have to say they don’t support Trump, but just to acknowledge that there are students on this campus who feel this way about what’s happening … to acknowledge all of us here.”
Some students called for more diversity in “higher positions” at the university, which did not appear to be related to Trump.
Another student lamented the faculty "are supporting this rhetoric by not ending it," and that “people of color are struggling academically because they are so focused on trying to have a safe community and focus on these issues [related to having safe spaces on campus].”
Wagner eventually agreed to issue an email regarding the chalking.
On March 22, Wagner said in the email that the students voiced “genuine concern and pain” over what they believed were messages of intimidation, reports The Associated Press.
Wagner also mentioned that the students “heard a message about values regarding diversity and respect that clash with Emory’s own.”