BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It has been just over one week since voters hit the polls, electing Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Since then, many students are saying there’s a tone on campus when discussing politics.
“The left definitely has a stronger hold on campuses,” said Reed Tighe, the UB College Republicans president. “A lot of professors were nervous and had some not-so-nice things to say about Trump winning the presidency.”
Nicole Caine, the College Democrats president, says she isn’t hearing her professors disapproving the president-elect.
“A lot of the conversations were non-biased or their biased toward an issue,” said Caine, a senior in the process of applying to graduate school.
While Caine and Tighe’s views reflect different sides of the aisle, they agree on some topics including what the classroom political discourse should be like.
“We’re at a university where we’re supposed to be challenging each other,” said Tighe. “We’re supposed to be exposed to each other’s views.”
“Everybody deserves to hear both opinions,” said Caine.
The two campus leaders frequently hear each other’s opinions — they share desk space in the student union and say they engage in debates almost daily.
“You have to keep in mind that not everybody feels the same way,” said Tighe.
The two say hearing the other side is teaching them a lot and they wish that was more present in class.
“The professors views – as much as I agree with them – we have to be respectful of other people who have other views,” said Caine.
“Students should be exposed to other things,” said Tighe. “Even if it makes them uncomfortable because it’s how we grow. We should be unifying at this time not becoming more divisive.”
The students say either group hasn’t had issues where others are inciting violence toward them; they say, if something like that were to arise, they wouldn’t hesitate to stand up for the other group.
Statement from the University at Buffalo
Exploring diverse points of view in the classroom is vital to UB’s academic mission and is encouraged by our faculty as part of the learning process. Sometimes these topics are contentious, but we believe that constructive dialogue is essential for fostering a better understanding of the world we share.
At the same time, our university is committed to ensuring that all students of all backgrounds and beliefs have a safe and welcoming environment in which to share their thoughts and opinions.
Diversity, inclusion and mutual respect are strongly held values of UB, and we are committed to upholding these values at all times.
If students have concerns about equitable treatment in the classroom, they are encouraged to discuss the matter with their professor, and they have the option of filing a formal grievance with the university: