The president of Pennsylvania’s West Chester University issued a video statement ahead of Monday’s Donald Trump rally at the university, explaining his decision to let the rally continue despite community protests.
After Trump formally requested space for a speech Friday, a number of online petitions and Facebook groups popped up opposing the visit. But the administration wasn’t swayed; “As a public institution that encourages open dialogue and has a long tradition of hosting candidates for public office, we agreed to let our facilities be used for this rally,” President Chris Fiorentino announced.
“Understandably, there have been strong reactions from our campus community,” he continued. “While many disagree with Mr. Trump’s positions, it is important to remember our university is committed to the free exchange of ideas.”
Fiorentino noted that the same principles that let Trump speak on campus also enabled those who disagree with Trump to protest the rally. “We support you as you let your voices be heard peacefully. We encourage those that plan to protest to do so in accordance with the principles of civility that are a fundamental value of West Chester University,” he said.
In one last overture to upset students, he noted that none of their tuition dollars would go towards the event, and that Trump had promised to cover the costs himself.
Watch above, via YouTube.