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Nov 22, 2016 11:44 AM

Professor 'intimidated' after 2 students dress as Harambe, Nixon during UNH walkout


DURHAM - A University of New Hampshire professor has asked for the school to take action against two students who she called "harassing, intimidating and racist" during a campus walkout following Donald Trump being elected president.

READ: UNH Women's Studies Facebook page presents controversy

A campus walkout happened Nov. 14, days after Donald Trump was named president-elect. This was to show solidarity for people feeling threatened by the president-elect and his administration, Siobhan Senier, an English professor and Women’s Studies Program faculty member, wrote in a letter to President Mark Huddleston and Provost Nancy Targett.

Two students dressed as Nixon and Harambe the ape were seen outside during the walkout, which people felt that the ape costume, in particular, was "harassing, intimidating and racist," Senier said.

In the letter, Senier said that many people felt vulnerable after the past election.

She applauded a recent post-election letter that Huddleston sent out to the community which expressed the "university's commitment to diversity, inclusion and mutual respect." However, Senier and others who received the letter were concern that it treated all sides as equal stating: "no critically thinking person can say that people supporting and people opposing Donald Trump are 'equal.'"

Senier also claimed that Trump supporters are not remotely vulnerable to the kinds of terrorism that women, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims and others are exposed to.

She expressed that someone must know who the two students were that dressed in costumes, and a conversation with them is necessary.

"President Huddleston and Provost Targett, I would urge you not to take refuge behind the kind of bland “we’re-all-in-this-together” line that is currently so prevalent in public discourse. I implore you, instead, to take a strong stand on behalf of our most vulnerable students, faculty and staff," she wrote.

The UNH Women's Studies program was recently under fire after making several posts on Facebook that could be seen as favoring Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

These political posts go against state law 15:5, which states that "no recipient of a grant or appropriation of state funds may use the state funds to... participate in political activity, or contribute funds to any entity engaged in these activities."

The Facebook page has since been removed.

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