RMU Sentry Media
MOON TOWNSHIP – On March 21, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that requires colleges to respect free speech on campus or they will lose federal funding.The order will withhold a school’s share of a $35 billion budget that is set aside each year for research and educational grants. RMU Sentry Media reached out to student political leaders on campus to hear their thoughts on the executive order.
“I think any legislation that is looking to improve the ability of students to speak freely on campus is a step in the right direction,” said Ian Stubbs, president of the Political Science Club at Robert Morris. “I think the concern over this particular executive order is that it is protecting only the speech of some students.
Stubbs’s thoughts mention the criticism of the order, as critics feel that it is designed to only protect conservatives on college campuses. Stubbs feels that, while the order was made in response to issues involving conservatives feeling suppressed on campus, all will benefit from the executive order.
“I do feel President Trump’s intent was to protect free speech violations on primarily conservative student groups (based off the cases of suppression he offered in relation to the order),” stated Stubbs in an email. “However, as I stated earlier, the order itself is written broadly enough that it can be utilized, and should be utilized, by anyone whose speech is violated on a college campus.”
Matthew Markulin, president of the College Democrats at Robert Morris, agrees with the criticism of the executive order.
“From my perspective, President Trump’s executive order is nothing more than political and does not address any potential issues regarding free speech on college campuses,” said Markulin. “It is blatant red meat to his base to further continue discussion over an issue that doesn’t even exist.”
As for the College …