On Wednesday, Nov. 3, many students attended Drew’s weekly Student Government meeting to express their worries over upcoming speaker Trent Horn, amongst addressing other issues and carrying out administrative duties.
According to a flyer posted by the Catholic Campus Ministry who sponsored the event alongside the Drew University College Republicans, Horn was invited to speak about how to be “persuasive pro-life” and engage in discussions with the community about abortion. The event was also marketed as an event for pro-choice supporters to attend and listen to another perspective.
Many students took issue with Horn’s presence on campus due to statements on the speaker’s personal social media accounts.
Apart from concerns about anti-mask sentiment on Horn’s social media, multiple students voiced their uneasiness with Horn’s statements in the past regarding the transgender community which were publicly displayed on his Twitter page.
Student Alyssa Sileo (‘22) read a tweet from Horn aloud which stated, “‘I won’t call a transgender woman ‘she’ because that is the opposite of a woman.’” Many students argued that this tweet was transphobic.
The meeting brought up student concerns about how such speaker events are funded, as well as a general dissatisfaction with how guest speakers on campus are selected. Student Government President Salvi said that conversations surrounding club guidelines and contracts for speakers and spaces for future events were ongoing.
During the meeting, other campus issues such as racial descrimination and student academic concerns were also discussed.
Senior Senator Fernando Cardoza Ochoa (‘22) stated that Student Government would be launching a student survey aimed at tracking discrimination patterns experienced by BIPOC bilingual members of the CLA. The survey will launch on Monday, Nov. 15 and be available for completion via email as well as on the Student Government Instagram page @drewstudentgov.
Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Academics Ryan Hinrichs attended Wednesday’s meetings to provide updates on how the CLA is continuing to accommodate students during the ongoing COVID-19. Junior Senator Rachel Papa (‘23) expressed concern about the deadline for Pass/Fail being in September, to which Hinrichs replied that the deadline must be prior to Spring registration.