Student assaulted, allegedly for wearing a Trump hat; two black students reportedly harassed; walkout planned Monday

Freedom Square on Towson's campus in the fall. Photo by Cody Boteler.

By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

Since Donald Trump became president-elect of the United States early Wednesday morning, Towson President Kim Schatzel has sent two campus-wide emails.

The first, sent early Wednesday afternoon, was titled “Moving Forward,” and called for the University community to “model a process that seeks greater mutual understanding with compassion through civil discourse.”

The second email, sent Friday morning, alerted the campus to an alleged hate/bias incident occurring on Towson’s campus.

Shaun King, a writer for the New York Daily News, tweeted Thursday at Towson University with a message that he said he received from students.

In the message, a Towson student who could not immediately be reached for comment, said that “two black boys” were followed by “a few white guys” and repeatedly called a racial slur.

“This won’t bring me down but you can’t tell me after Trump got elected some people are starting to get a little brave with their words!” the post said.

In her campus-wide email from Friday morning, Schatzel said that Towson University Police and the Office of Inclusion made contact with the student who reported the incident on social media and are investigating.

“We acknowledge that there are members of our community who are feeling fearful and vulnerable, but we reaffirm our commitment to a safe, thriving, diverse and inclusive campus,” Schatzel said in her email. “Next week, we will continue to share opportunities to come together on this fundamental value of Towson University.”

 

Chalking in Freedom Square that reads "#Not my president." In the background,messages of support on the blackboard. Photo by Cody Boteler.
Chalking in Freedom Square that reads “#Not my president.” In the background,messages of support on the blackboard. Photo by Cody Boteler.

The Social Justice Collective has planned a walk-out Monday, calling for members of the University community to “walk out of buildings, libraries [and] classrooms” at noon and gather in Freedom Square.

“This is one of the most important moments for faculty, staff, and students to come together to stand against Trump’s hatred, racism, bigotry, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and misogyny,” an email from the Social Justice Collective said. “We do not stand for hate and we will not tolerate this on our campus, in our community, or in our country.”

Earlier in the month, a black female student was accused of assaulting a commuter student in the Glen Garage over the election.

Ray Feldmann, a spokesman for the University, confirmed a student who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, said he was assaulted and had his cellphone briefly taken.

“The student who allegedly committed the assault and theft of the phone was arrested and charged,” Feldmann said. “She posted bail the next day.”


(Above, a video from Campus Reform that appears to show a woman attacking the person recording the incident.)
TUPD were unable to provide a police report and instead deferred to the Office of the General Counsel. The Towerlight has formally requested the related police report and this story will be updated when we receive it.

Zack Stuehler, director of the Student Trump Coalition at Towson University, called both acts—the alleged assault from Nov. 1, and the verbal harassment from Thursday—“heinous.”However, he said he was not entirely happy with how the University has handled the incidents.

“It frustrates me because I think it’s kind of biased and one-sided today,” Stuehler said. “An email was put out by the University President, addressing another disgusting, heinous thing that was committed by a couple of people, and it frustrates me because there was no University stance put out about a student getting assaulted for wearing a hat that said ‘Make America Great Again.’”

The student accused of assaulting the Trump supporter is slated to stand trial Dec. 13 at 1 p.m.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story identified that man who was allegedly attacked Nov. 1 as a “Trump staffer.” We have since been informed that this is not the case, and apologize for the error.

Sam Shelton contributed to this report.