SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As anti-Donald Trump sentiment grows in parts of the liberal leaning Bay Area, some younger Trump supporters at San Francisco State University say they are getting a particularly nasty reception from fellow students.
Historically, university campuses have been a bastion for free speech and political discourse. But this year’s election cycle is challenging that idea at campuses across the country.
Last week on the SF State campus, members of the Republican Student Union (RSU) faced an angry onslaught of fellow students playing an explicit anti-Trump rap song in response to the group’s endorsement of Trump for president.
It was the third time protesters had confronted the student group.
“They kept saying ‘Leave! Leave! Leave!’ Which eventually we had to because they were sitting on our table, leaning on our table surrounding it,” said Republican Student Union President John Ayoub. “And it was pretty intimidating.”
The RSU is a legitimate, sanctioned San Francisco State University club. They’re permitted to have a table on the quad, but some students felt otherwise and sought to have them kicked off campus. Their efforts were unsuccessful.
On Tuesday, the Republican Student Union representatives were back, albeit in a much more low-key manner, fielding opposing opinions peacefully.
“To find out this group of conservatives on campus is kind of scary,” said student Melanie Fierro, who is not a Trump supporter. “And to think that some might be supporting them on this campus is even scarier.”
But scary or not, it is the constitutional right of Trump supporters to be there and express their opinions. Most students recognize that fact, even if they don’t like it.
“In a city like San Francisco I thought everyone would be tolerant,” said Ayoub. “But there are some students — a few, luckily not many — who are only tolerant to the speech they want to hear.”