Benjamin Zeisloft, Campus Reform
- Harvard students asked administrators to bar Trump administration alumni from serving as faculty members, teaching fellows, and guest speakers.
- The students root their requests in claims that the Trump administration has denigrated “fundamental democratic institutions,” meriting a public “system of accountability.”
Harvard University students wrote to administrators, demanding that Trump administration officials be preemptively barred from the Ivy League campus.
An open letter addressed to Harvard president Lawrence Bacow and other leadership, notes that although Harvard typically hosts officials from outgoing presidential administrations, students are “extremely concerned” about the Trump administration’s impacts on “fundamental democratic institutions.”
The letter points to Trump administration investigations of voter fraud as trampling the “norms of free and fair elections and peaceful transfer of power.” It also alleges that the administration is marked by a “complete disregard for the truth.”
As a result, the students ask for a “system of accountability” for “high-level political appointees and Trump administration consultants before they are invited as fellows or to teach or speak on campus.”
The students claim that Trump officials’ supposed opposition to “free and honest inquiry in the unfettered pursuit of truth, the right to vote, a free and independent press, checks and balances, the peaceful transfer of power, and the rule of law” are grounds for disqualifying them from serving Harvard as faculty members or teaching fellows.
Likewise, students would like the school to “fully vet speakers” coming from the Trump administration. This may take the form of not inviting them to speak; for those who are invited, associates of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government have the “responsibility to boldly confront” Trump administration alumni “about their collaboration or passive acceptance of this attack on truth and fundamental democratic principles.”
In spite of these proposed restrictions, the authors claim that they “remain fully committed to free speech and debate of difficult subjects.”
Carter Estes, a student at Harvard University and a member of the Harvard Kennedy School student government, led the charge against the creation of similar restrictions.
“There were so many conservative students that reached out to me that were worried about it,” Estes told Campus Reform. “They came to me talking about how this isn’t right… for a Republican administration to have more strict guidelines than any other administration.”
Campus Reform reached out to Harvard University for comment and will update this article accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft
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