JMU professor faces backlash from tweet

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — JMU and some student groups are addressing a tweet from a JMU professor after it had some in the university community upset.

The history professor tweeted Monday about who she was voting for this election, and in it criticized the Republican Party. The move received heavy backlash, prompting both the university and JMU College Republicans to release a statement.

“I don’t want to see her fired or anything but I would like the discussion to be had as a community at JMU," says Alex Rodriguez, Chairman Emeritus for JMU College Republicans. "We’re so much better than this. We don’t need to start, you know, slandering other students and saying f them all in reference to conservatives and republicans.”

The president of JMU Democrats, Luke Forbes, says their statement felt opportunistic.

“I’m a little less than impressed with the college republicans' reaction when they could have been on the front lines fighting for the, you know uh, voices of black and LGBTQ students and POC students and indigenous students who have been dealing with racism and homophobia and transphobia, but they were not stepping up.”

Rodriguez goes on to say, “We want to be able to have conservatives feel comfortable on campus, and with those comments that she made, that’s not conducive to a good learning environment, and that’s what we are really advocating for.”

Forbes says the College Republicans should be more critical of leaders in their party. “Of course the JMU College Republicans all have to be pointing their fingers at this professor for inciting violence when they are absolutely not holding people within their own party accountable for doing much worse," Forbes said.

JMU President Jonathan Alger says the views from the tweet do not represent the university, and “We must model how to engage in political discourse in respectful and thoughtful ways.” JMU Spokesperson Mary-Hope Vass says they will not take further action.

WHSV reached out to the professor, but has not heard back yet.

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