UB Students for Trump install signs on North Campus
Trump supporters’ late campaigning draws criticism
On the eve of the presidential election, students made sure that their politician was noticed on North Campus.
UB Students for Trump installed campaign signs and drew messages on sidewalks near the academic spine Monday night. After the club’s Monday night meeting, members of the UB Students for Trump group wrote “Trump 2016” and “#LockHerUp” in chalk around Flint Loop. These messages along with the installation of campaign signs, made some students concerned.
Since UB College Republicans is unable to endorse any candidates, members of UB Students for Trump felt it was best for their political views to be heard.
Daniel Connolly, a freshman computer science major, is part of the group’s effort to raise awareness for Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Connolly thinks the majority of people are going to be upset by the signs.
“We go to a school that’s not that politically vocal but I think a large majority of people are left leaning,” Connolly said. “What we will find is a lot of these signs are going to be violently ripped out of the ground about 24 hours from now.”
Some students who saw the signs and messages were infuriated. One student was particularly upset and was seen kicking a sign that was placed in the grassy circle of Flint Loop.
Some tiles along Founders’ Plaza were transcribed with messages such as #ImWithHim and “Crooked Hillary.” Other messages were written alongside, like “#MAGA” and “Say No To Safe Spaces.”
Toster Andrade, a junior business administration major, noticed some of the messages while walking outside of Capen Hall at night.
“I find it a little disappointing out here, saying ‘Hillary for Prison’ is straight up disrespectful,” Andrade said.
Andrade said regardless of who is elected, people should be prepared for the “bull crap” on its way. After seeing the messages, Andrade took out his phone to record some the inscriptions written between Norton and O’Brian Halls.
“I feel, personally, that this is the worst presidential election ever. It’s the presidential, political season so a lot of things don’t make sense and facts go straight out the window.”
Connolly said he will vote for Trump and believes Clinton will win unless Trump secures swing states. He said his group had “to be very careful” when putting the signs around campus in order to not break any laws.
“When people are walking into a polling place, they’re not seeing a whole bunch of signs for one candidate or another,” Connolly said. “That would definitely damage the election process. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t advocate for a candidate in any way within 100 feet of a polling place, be it vocally or with signs.”
Connolly mentioned that the group’s messages would be “staying away” from the Student Union since it is a polling place on Election Day.
New York election law 8-104 states that no “political banner, button, poster, or placard shall be allowed in,” “upon” or “within” a “one hundred foot radial” of a “polling place” that is open.
Other members of UB Students for Trump feel that a Trump victory would secure the country against a “new cold war” initiated by Clinton.
Ernest Starzec, a junior business administration and political science major, believes that the election will turn out to be a “very close race”. Starzec believes that a lot of people who are going to vote for Trump are “afraid to admit it” and that the signs will encourage them to “do the right thing.”
“This will help them see that there are those of us that are not afraid of [the Black Student Union] or other organizations that try to attack your viewpoints or demean you,” Starzec said.
Starzec, along with Connolly are part of UB College Republicans.
Nya Spence, a freshman international studies major, thinks that any candidate can win this election but she says she feels “attacked” seeing the “Trump Pence” campaign signs on campus.
“It’s different seeing it on someone’s front yard but here on campus, it felt uneasy,” Spence said. “I’m obviously not for what he says or his political agenda. Seeing that poster made me feel very uncomfortable.”
Benjamin Blanchet is an arts staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org