, , , , , , , ,

Hate Crime Sparks Election Protest At UW-La Crosse

Students Say Donald Trump Has Emboldened Racist, Hateful Speech On Campus

Hope Kirwan/WPR

Almost 100 students staged a “die-in” Thursday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to protest the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Students lay on the floor in a main campus hallway with signs criticizing President-elect Donald Trump and voicing support for people of color, the LGBT community and women.

The demonstration came after several students of color found threatening vandalism written on their apartment doors Wednesday morning after Election Day on Tuesday. University officials said police are investigating the hate crime.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Students protest the outcome of the 2016 presidential election at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on Wednesday. Hope Kirwan/WPR

UW-La Crosse student Keyla Rosa said Trump’s presidency has emboldened people to act on their racist or hateful views.

“His election taught them that their ideas are acceptable and that the way he speaks to people, they can also speak to people,” Rosa said. “It’s not acceptable on this campus or in the community of La Crosse.”

More can be done at UW-La Crosse to prevent hateful language or bigotry on campus, Rosa said.

“I think our university can do a lot better,” Rosa said. “While they did handle this crime OK, there are tons of hate crimes every semester on campus that are not handled as well.”

The demonstration drew many onlookers, some in support and some critical.

“I think it’s cool how people can band together and come out and support something that they disagree with,” said UW-La Crosse student Nolan McCarthey. “I do disagree with what they’re doing. I feel like you should just accept the outcome. You can be upset about it, but I don’t see the other side doing this if the election came out in a different outcome.”

Protests and demonstrations have taken place across the country since the election results were announced, including in Chicago and St. Paul, Minnesota.