While some colleges struggle to contain students’ angst over Donald Trump’s election, Texas State University is struggling to contain its Trump supporters as well as its Trump detractors.
Late Wednesday, someone papered the Texas State Campus with “Trump Vigilante” posters, warning that students and administrators who opposed the Trump agenda would be “tarred and feathered” and that “deviant university leaders” would be arrested and tortured.
It’s not clear who put up the posters—whether a group of college-age Trump voters were scouring the campus for liberal colleagues to punish, or whether the flier was a hoax. The campus responded with deep concern anyway—and with more compassion for potential vigilantes than might be expected.
“We know that those who are a part of our university community have different opinions and that, in this time of transition in our national leadership, members of our community are expressing their thoughts and concerns,” wrote Texas State President Denise Trauth. “Discourse is fundamental to the academic enterprise, and this university strives to protect it.”
They did follow up with a statement later saying that campus police were investigating the incident, however.
A message from Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth: pic.twitter.com/J4mKuLsjUk
— Texas State (@txst) November 10, 2016
Meanwhile, the university was handling an anti-Trump “silent protest” taking place elsewhere on campus, as students skipped classes to work out their emotions on the quad.
— LBJ Student Center (@lbjsc) November 10, 2016
There was some visible crying.
— KD (@yvng_sassy) November 10, 2016
One student made a valiant attempt to reason with the crowd, but was quickly outnumbered.
Students then launched a counter-protest.
And a counter-counter protest with, perhaps, the most important message of all.
— ㅤㅤ (@oohrosemary) November 10, 2016
We hear you, man.