Oregon tourism has been a prime target of anti-Trump protesters and activists in recent months.
While many of the protests have centered around a proposed border wall between the state and Mexico, the Oregon State University (OSU) has been at the forefront of the anti-establishment movement, a movement that was previously fueled by white nationalists.
During a press conference in April, OSU President Tom Ross declared the university a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants, which has been described by anti-immigrant activists as a form of “ethnic cleansing.”
This decision has also been challenged by the university’s own students.
At a campus rally in February, the rally featured a sign reading, “We’re here to fight Trump!”
According to The Oregonian, OSUs student Mark Aylward told the paper, “The university is now being used as a tool for anti-immigration groups to push their agenda.
I think that’s absolutely insane.”
The university’s president has also issued a statement calling the university sanctuary and stating, “Oregon State University is a sanctuary university and will not support or condone the actions of the individuals who have engaged in violence and disruption at our campuses, nor will OSU support any action that undermines our shared values and ideals.”
This rhetoric has prompted some to question OSU’s commitment to the university community.
On Thursday, President Ross sent out an email to OSU students saying, “At OSU, we will stand united against those who seek to divide us or threaten our way of life.
OSU stands for tolerance, inclusion and inclusion of all.”
As the campus has been targeted by protesters, a local pastor has spoken out against the protesters.
Pastor Eric O’Dell, who is from the town of Blackwater, told the Portland Oregonian that he believes the protesters are a part of the “anti-Christian cult.”
O’Cell said, “It’s not about the people who are here.
It’s about the ones that are not.”
The Portland Oregonians reported that O’Deill has been calling the campus a “war zone” for years and has been known to organize anti-American rallies.
O’Callaghan, who has been outspoken against Trump’s administration, said, “[They] are trying to turn OSU into an example for other universities.
They want to turn our university into a sanctuary for the criminals, the rapists, and the murderers.
I’m not saying they’re right.
I am saying that they are wrong.
And that’s why I’m calling on people to stay away from OSU.”
Odeh added, “I don’t care what they do to us.
I don’t want to be on campus.
I just want to go home.”
OSU president Tom Ross is a vocal supporter of President Trump, who received a majority of the votes to win the 2016 presidential election.
OSUs President Tom R. Ross has also faced criticism over the university president’s stance on the Black Lives Matter movement.
In an interview with The Oregon Tribune in December, Ross was asked whether he believed that Black Lives Matters were a threat to OSUs values.
Ross responded, “What they have done is the opposite of what we stand for as a university.
They are a threat.”
In an article published in January, The Oregon Daily Democrat described Ross as “a member of a far-right extremist group that has threatened to kill students, faculty, staff and staff of a university and threatened the school’s ability to function.”
Ross has previously expressed his opposition to the Black Liberation Army, a white nationalist organization.
In February, Ross spoke out against BLM, writing, “BLM’s ideology, which seeks to abolish the system that gave us this country, has been embraced by the left and the right alike.”
In February 2017, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had attended a rally held by a white supremacist group called Vanguard America.
In January 2017, Odehl also wrote an open letter to President Ross, calling on him to condemn the Black Resistance Movement, the white nationalist group that the University of Oregon has been on the receiving end of for years.
“I know you’re not one to be silent, but your administration is not an ally to any student or faculty at OSU.
I can’t believe you’re letting your administration stand by and watch a racist organization run amok,” Odehi said.
The university president has been accused of being too cozy with the White House, and Odehm has called for the university to fire Ross.
In the letter, ODehl wrote, “You are too close to the White, Nationalist and Christian Right.
I know it’s hard to say, but we can’t allow your administration to stay silent when so many students and staff are being threatened and marginalized for their beliefs.”
ODeh added that “it’s important for OSU to be an ally of the university and to protect our students and faculty.”