By Jeff Simpson
As an alumnus of Beloit College, I was greatly disturbed when I heard that one of our Trustees, Diane Hendricks is VP of the Trump Victory Fund.
Here is the letter that I sent our President Scott Bierman:
Dear President Bierman:
My name is Jeff Simpson and I am a proud alumnus of Beloit College, class of 1988. I am writing because something has been bothering me the past couple weeks. I am deeply disturbed that Trustee Diane Hendricks, is also vice chair of the Donald Trump Victory Committee.
This has nothing to do with my personal political beliefs. I did not write you while Ms. Hendricks has been the largest donor to Governor Walker. Nor did I call attention to the conflict of interest when Ms. Hendricks has given millions to a Governor who has ended tenure at the public University of Wisconsin system, while having a say in who gets tenure at our fine institution. Despite the fact that I vehemently disagree with her on these, and many other, issues. I understand what makes America, and Beloit College, great is a variety of opinions and viewpoints all brought together.
That being said, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump takes things to a different level. Mr. Trump has shown us continual flashes of racism, sexism, xenophobia, misogyny, hatred and calls to violence throughout his campaign. He has been endorsed by white nationalists all over the country and has landed his latest supporter – the communist Government of North Korea.
The whole world is watching America in this election season and Donald Trump is not showing a shining example of who we are or what we as a country could/should be.
The Beloit College mission states in part “Our emphasis on international and interdisciplinary perspectives, the integration of knowledge with experience, and close collaboration among peers, professors, and staff equips our students to approach the complex problems of the world ethically and thoughtfully”.
Mr. Trump, with his talk of building walls, deporting foreigners, banning Muslims, abhorrent treatment of women, making fun of the disabled and giddiness over people who have struggled through the last recession, among many other disgusting examples has shown to stand for the exact opposite of what Beloit College stands for.
As you know, Beloit College welcomes students from 46 states and nearly 40 countries throughout the world. Is having one of our Trustee’s working very hard to elect and one of the faces of the Trump campaign, the message we want to send these prospective students, current enrollees and alumni as representative of OUR college?
I came to Beloit College fresh off the farm, where the most diversity I have dealt with was the kids who wore Lee Jeans and the ones who wore Levi’s. Attending Beloit College amidst its diversity of races and locations, is what really helped me grow and become the person I am today. On one side of me my freshman year was a classmate from Sweden and on the other was a gay male. Being exposed to and learning to not only get along but become friends with people who I had never seen or associated with before is what gave me the amazing college experience that I treasure.
Let’s not put up a “Not Welcome” sign to people that look and believe and worship differently than me.
I do not have a problem with Ms. Hendricks serving on one board or the other, but I believe for her to serve on both boards simultaneously is not only a conflict of interest, but also will do lasting damage to the excellent reputation Beloit College has earned and deserves.