Trump’s visit to the Temple may be the first by a Republican presidential candidate

Donald Trump could become the first Republican presidential candidate to speak on Temple’s Liacouras Center campus on Saturday.

James W. Hilty, a retired Temple professor and campus historian who wrote a book on the university’s history published in 2010, said he found no evidence that the Republican candidate was campaigning on campus at the time. This is at least “no one who left any record of this visit in any newspaper, book, magazine or Temple archives.”

University spokesman Steve Orbanek confirmed that neither had campaigned on campus in at least the last decade.

By comparison, Democrats made recurrent appearances, including Hillary Clinton in 2016. Hilty noted that Franklin Roosevelt came in 1936, an election year, to dedicate Sullivan Hall, the main administration building. John Kennedy stopped campaigning in 1960, Lyndon Johnson in 1964, George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1980, John Kerry in 2004, and Barack Obama in 2008.

Democrats most recently used the Liacouras Center during the 2022 Pennsylvania midterms. President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama joined forces with then Lt. Governor John Fetterman and then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro during senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns.

IN a message to the university community on Saturday, after announcing Trump’s visit, Temple emphasized its nonpartisan stance and said political events were common on campus during election season. The university added that it makes spaces available for rent to external organizations, regardless of their policies. Trump’s visit does not qualify as the university’s endorsement of the former president, the university said.

“Temple is committed to protecting the First Amendment, including freedom of speech and assembly,” wrote university Chancellor Richard Englert and Chief Operating Officer Ken Kaiser. “This means that Temple fosters an environment that welcomes diversity of thought, opinion, and peaceful expression.”

Despite the university’s statement, the faculty union Temple Association of University Professors, in an email to its members on Thursday, said it was disappointed to hear about Trump’s rally on campus.

“While we believe strongly in freedom of speech and the right to assemble, we are also deeply troubled by the decision to associate the Temple community with Donald Trump,” they wrote.

The union, which is currently negotiating a fresh contract with the administration, said the university opposes proposals to add academic freedom protections to the fresh contract.

“We have proposed a new article… to protect academic freedom, including freedom of speech in and out of the classroom, and freedom from surveillance, for all members of our bargaining unit,” they wrote. “Where is the commitment to protecting open debate and free inquiry for the Temple community?”

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Latest Posts