The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Letter to the Editor: In response to inaccessibility on campus
Letter to the Editor: In response to inaccessibility on campus
by Advocacy, Community, Education and Support (ACES), Special to The Simpsonian • March 1, 2024

Dear Editor, We write in response to an article published February 14, 2024, in The Simpsonian titled, “No disabled students need apply:...

Retraction and update: After Midnight review
Retraction and update: "After Midnight" review
by Maggie Fitzpatrick, Staff Reporter • February 28, 2024

In my previous review of the late-night show "After Midnight", I stated that comedian Matt Walsh, who was a guest on the show, is “a prominent...

SCTV 2/28/24
by Aaron Wilkins and Sam HyingFebruary 28, 2024

Protest shut down at Trump rally

+%E2%80%9CI%E2%80%99ve+been+reminding+people+and+myself+that+truly+Simpson+security+was+not+at+fault%2C%E2%80%9D+Ladage+said.+%E2%80%9CSimpson+students+were+supposed+to+be+able+to+jump+the+line+and+have+access+to+the+atrium+regardless+of+if+they+were+protesting+so+long+as+it+was+peaceful.%E2%80%9D
Kyle Werner
“I’ve been reminding people and myself that truly Simpson security was not at fault,” Ladage said. “Simpson students were supposed to be able to jump the line and have access to the atrium regardless of if they were protesting so long as it was peaceful.”

Four Simpson students attempted to protest Former President Donald Trump’s election campaign at his rally on Sunday, Jan. 14, but security stopped them from entering the venue.

Kalen Stefanick, Lyza Cue, Blake Ladage and Michelle Pritchard-Hall waited in line to enter the rally for two hours in single-digit temperatures with signs that said “Protect Trans Kids” and “No More Hate” before security refused them entry.

Ladage, a first-year political science and history major who organized the protest, said they were “approached by outside security and told that, due to their signage, they would not be allowed in.”

The students told the guards they attended Simpson and asked security if they could enter the event without the signs. Security informed them that the Secret Service did not want them to enter and threatened to remove them from the premises if they attempted to.

While organizing, Ladage took many steps to guarantee this event adhered to Simpson’s guidelines.

He looked through Simpson’s student handbook and contacted Simpson security the Thursday before the event to inform them of the protest details. Security told Ladage the group could get in with their student IDs and said students would enter through a separate door from the general public.

On the morning of the protest, the students went to the side door they thought was specifically for students, and security directed them to the main line.

While waiting, the group garnered media attention from various news stations, including the New York Times and some international journalists. Stefanick was grateful for this opportunity to share his opinions, even though it was not how he expected.

Pritchard-Hall, a senior music major, said the purpose of this protest was “to remind people we have other options for candidates and provide an alternative perspective at an event that can be one-sided.”

She said she fears for minority groups’ safety if President Trump wins the election.

Stefanick felt strongly about their need to participate for this reason.

“As a trans person, I don’t have the luxury to be passive during a major presidential election, and especially not when the candidates have made it abundantly clear that my rights are on the line,” Stefanick said.

Pritchard-Hall and Stefanick said they felt security took away their First Amendment right under the guise of protecting the former president. However, the students feared speaking out because they did not want to be arrested.

Ladage said he was also frustrated by the response but did not blame Simpson for what happened.

“I’ve been reminding people and myself that truly Simpson security was not at fault,” Ladage said. “Simpson students were supposed to be able to jump the line and have access to the atrium regardless of if they were protesting so long as it was peaceful.”

Simpson security even promised to protect them in the event anything went wrong.

Although this protest did not go as expected, they did not regret participating despite the outcome.

“I’m proud of our group for speaking up and making our voices heard,” Stefanick said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Maggie Fitzpatrick, Staff Reporter
Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager

Comments (0)

All The Simpsonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest