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A ‘Trump Wall’ Erected by Students on Washington State University’s Campus Sparks Protests

This marks the second college in the state to have students erect a “Trump Wall” on campus.

October 19, 2016

On the day of the third and final presidential debate — and 20 days until the general election — Washington State University College Republicans built a “Trump Wall” in the middle of the Pullman, Wash. campus.

Supporters and protesters of the Trump Wall converge on the steps of Todd Hall. Credit: Chris Ryder.

WSU College Republicans President James Allsup told the Spokesman Review  that they built the wall in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s stance on illegal immigration. He believed it would spur conversation on the issues.

In response to the wall — and to the resulting outcry by students — WSU sent an email to students stating they supported free expression, writing that they are “committed to being a community that protects the free exchange of ideas while encouraging dialog that is constructive and civil.”

Anita Mendoza, co-chair of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.)  holds a sign in protest of the wall. Credit: Chris Ryder.

The wall on WSU’s Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall was met with a “unity rally” protest. The protesters outnumbered the 20 or so College Republican members. Between chants of "we are what America looks like," and “the people united will never be divided,” protestors shared stories of why their families immigrated to the United States.

People were chanting and singing and holding hands. Today we were all the same. We were all united.

“Emotions were running high,” said Kamilah Kent, a student who was protesting at the rally. Kent said that even though it was tense and she was angry, the protesters came together. “People shared their stories, their tears. People were chanting and singing and holding hands. Today we were all the same. We were all united.”

The protests remained peaceful. WSU campus police were on-hand to make sure discussions didn’t escalate into violence.

WSU College Republicans President James Allsup waves a Trump flag during the event. Credit: Chris Ryder.

The wall was taken down at around 2:00 p.m., after which the crowd dispersed.

This is the second college in Washington State where a “Trump Wall” on campus has been erected. Students at the University of Washington built one back in May.

 


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Megan Murnane

Megan Murnane is a freelance journalist and videographer. She has had work featured in Crosscut, KING 5, and the Global Post. She is a recent graduate of Washington State University (WSU) with specialization in multimedia journalism and broadcast production. She has a second degree in history and a minor in political science. During her time at WSU, she was also the President of Cable 8 Productions and the Association for Women in Communications. She has had the opportunity report internationally from Cuba and Nepal. You can follow her on Twitter @MeganMurnane. 

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