Some students at New York University fear for their safety while on campus, saying they must keep their support of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump a secret.
"Supporters generally try to keep it hidden from the rest of the student body," junior Dylan Perera told the Post. "They're afraid of losing friends, being ridiculed in class, getting worse grades and are even afraid of being assaulted and physically hurt."
Perera said many students do not want to announce their support of Trump due to the large amount of debt they carry, since they fear that when they need letters of recommendation and internships, professors will not be willing to help them.
The computer science major went on to say that he had been verbally attacked by a student who asked him about his political affiliations, saying the girl had "freaked out" and yelled in his face, calling him a racist and a fascist. He added that it was extremely difficult to carry on a conversation with her.
In a separate instance, a student became so concerned about the possibility of his classmates discovering he was a Trump supporter that he reserved a private room on campus "for security reasons" in order to speak to reporter Melkorka Licea for The New York Post. Discussing his "radical social-justice warrior" roommates with reporters, he said that "their hatred towards me started escalating after we had a few political discussions."
The student said that he had been outed by a professor who used Trump as an example in class despite the student having asked the professor not to do so in an email beforehand. While explaining platitudes in class, the professor noted how Trump saying "I'm great" is a platitude, and then, looking right at the student, apologized for poking fun.
He noted that students are afraid of being both attacked and shunned, which he said are "equally degrading."
Another junior, who asked to remain anonymous, said she typically does not engage in public debates which could reveal her pro-Trump beliefs. However, she did say that she recently became brave enough to "like" a post on Facebook tbat defended Trump.
Many others have not taken such chances.
"I've been too smart to paint a target on my head and take that kind of heat," said one anonymous student. "It's just not worth it."
Trump supporters on campus routinely lie about their political beliefs while in class and keep online conversations concerning such topics as private as possible in an effort to keep the information a secret from the majority of the student body.
The informal Trump group on campus currently has close to 30 members out of the 57,000-person student body. However, the total number of Trump fans on campus is unknown since no one has been bold enough to create an official club, reports Greg Richter for Newsmax.
One student said Facebook discussions concerning Trump can become hostile, with students using words such as "bigot" and "racist" when discussing Trump, and referring to those who support him as "delusional." As a result, Trump supporters have begun to discuss their views in secret, either through social media or one-on-one meetups.