Donald Trump is coming to speak at St. Anselm College next week. It’s a simple and seemingly insignificant sentence — until you replace “St. Anselm College” with “Harvard” or “Berkeley” or “Stanford Law.”
Simply put, in the current climate of intolerance and censorship on many American colleges, a Trump town hall on campus is impossible to imagine.
Which is why NHJournal found the email St. A’s President, Dr. Joseph A. Favazza, sent to the student body regarding Trump’s visit worthy of your attention. It is published below in its entirety.
To the Saint Anselm community,
We are pleased to share that once again Saint Anselm College will play an important role in the 2024 presidential election cycle, beginning Wednesday, May 10 with a live CNN Town Hall with former President Donald Trump. The primetime event will be moderated by CNN Anchor Kaitlan Collins, who will ask questions of the former President and 2024 Republican presidential candidate followed by questions from the live audience. The Town Hall will broadcast from the Koonz Theater in the Dana Center at 9 p.m.
In addition to CNN, we anticipate several dozen national media members will be on campus, showcasing our commitment to civic engagement. As you know, the college already has hosted many presidential candidates this election cycle and we anticipate other large events in the coming weeks and months.
For more than a generation, Saint Anselm has participated in the democratic process, underscoring our mission to provide a transformative education that fosters critical thinking skills for our students. Our first presidential debate was held in the Dana Center in 1984 and through the years we have been proud to host hundreds of talks, town halls and other political events.
Of course, politics, and politicians, can be divisive, so why would we offer a forum for such activity? It is simple: We believe that honest and informed interchange of ideas and perspectives is the bedrock of an informed electorate, which is why we have enthusiastically and impartially hosted political events since the 1950s. In fact, every major candidate for president since the 1960 election, regardless of party, has visited Saint Anselm College.
I realize the timing of this event is not ideal, and we will work diligently to minimize the disruption to campus life. Details about logistics, such as parking, security protocols and ticket availability will be forthcoming. We thank you for your patience and goodwill during this event.
Democracy depends on an educated citizenry. Here at Saint Anselm, we are proud to play an important and unique role in this regard.