Students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the same school from which presidential candidate Donald Trump graduated, have written the candidate an open letter saying he does not represent the opinions of the student body.
The open letter, which was published on Medium and signed by close to 1,800 students from the school, discussed how “deeply disappointed” the student body was in his candidacy, arguing that many of the comments he has made are politically incorrect.
“We, proud students, alumni, and faculty of Wharton, are outraged that an affiliation with our school is being used to legitimize prejudice and intolerance,” they wrote. “Although we do not aim to make any political endorsements with this letter, we do express our unequivocal stance against the xenophobia, sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry that you have actively and implicitly endorsed in your campaign.”
Trump has been open about his immigration policies, which include the creation of a wall to keep Mexico separate from the United States. The letter disagrees with this idea, saying that the school is made up of immigrants, children of immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Jews, women, people with disabilities, and those from the LGBTQ community.
The letter went on to say that Trump should not be using his education at the school as a credential by which to promote his candidacy, as they say he is using it to promote racism and intolerance. It added that the statements made by Trump are discriminatory and do not reflect what is taught at the school, writes Natasha Geiling for ThinkProgress.
In closing, the students expressed their “unwavering commitment to an open and inclusive American society.”
The co-authors said they needed to write the letter in order to speak out against Trump, calling silence an “act of complicity.”
This is not the first time that students at the school have spoken out against the Republican candidate. During a mock caucus held on the campus in February, Trump received just one vote. In addition, a USA Today article discussing Trump’s political presence on campus noted the small number of supporters from the school’s Republicans club who were “sympathetic to his bid,” reports Julia Manchester for CNN.
Trump earned his undergraduate degree from the school in 1968 after he transferred from Fordham University where he had studied for two years. His daughter Ivanka also studied at Wharton, and his other daughter Tiffany is currently enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania.
The candidate has been vocal about his attendance at the school, which is perennially ranked as one of the top business programs in the country.
“I went to the Wharton School of Finance,” Trump said during a July 11 speech in Arizona. “I’m, like, a really smart person.”
He went on to tell Chuck Todd of NBC that the school is “probably the hardest there is to get into.”