Students, faculty unite against Trump at democracy teach-in


Students advertised the teach in using chalk around campus. (Photo by James Maloney)

James Maloney, Crier Staff

When it was announced that the former president Donald Trump would return to Saint Anselm for a town hall event hosted by CNN, members of the faculty and student body began to immediately mobilize opposition efforts. 

With the former president having gone through two impeachment trials, 34 criminal charges filed by the New York district attorney, and most recently being held liable for sexual abuse and defamation, Saint Anselm students took issue with controversial candidates return.

Professor Peter Josephson talks about democracy with students at teach-in.

Emma Killham ’23 and Adysn Kilty ’23 helped organize an event to protest the town hall. The student and faculty democracy teach-in was well attended, and students came with a lot on their mind. Kilty took quick action and created a petition, but pen on paper seemed to have little effect at deterring Trump’s anticipated arrival. Student attendee Isabella Uva 26’ said, “Over 1200 signatures. Over 1200 individuals are telling you we do not want this man on this campus.”

Among the faculty attendees was the president of the college, Dr. Joseph Favazza. In a statement to the Crier, the president said, “Besides the long and distinguished mission of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, one of the reasons we agreed to allow CNN to interview this candidate on our campus is to have a seasoned journalist [Kaitlan Collins] ask and moderate challenging questions so that voters across the country will take a clear look at this man’s candidacy, no matter how upsetting. By putting him through the paces of a town hall, we keep him in the political process rather than allowing him to claim victimhood for being shut out of it. But given his reputation, we understand that this is a risk.”

That risk was indeed taken to heart by some students. Asher Manning ’25 said, “when you’ve seen all of the things that he’s [Trump] done in the past and even now, and what’s going on with his cases, I just want to know why a relationship with CNN comes before the safety and health of students on this campus.” 

For some, students brought up points on past actions by the NHIOP and how those decisions are misaligned with the hosting of the current Republican frontrunner. “It’s very interesting that we’re giving a platform to someone who rejects the cornerstones of our democracy and things that have existed for years.” One concerned student said, “I know Rudy Giuliani was told not to come because of how he felt about the election and denying results. Then we’re allowing someone else, who denies election results to come to campus. It feels very hypocritical.”

One of the guests was alumni Lauren Batchelder ’18 who spoke on the relentless online harassment after asking the former president a question at a town hall in 2015. “Today again, St. Anselm College is not safe, not for me.” With stories like hers, serving as a reminder of the former president’s use of online slander, safety was one of the top issues for those who attended and made their voices heard. 

Collectively, students, faculty and the school wish to promote democracy, but in the land of the free,

Students left the message “hate has no home here” on display after the event.

there are many ways in which that goal is viewed to be

accomplished. Still, through petitions, teach-ins, and peaceful protests, members of the Saint Anselm community continue to make their voices heard.