President Trump's Appearance at Campaign Rally for Josh Hawley
Students, faculty and staff,
I want to let you know that Donald J. Trump for President Inc. has reserved JQH Arena for Friday, Sept. 21.
A campaign rally for Josh Hawley, a candidate to represent the state of Missouri in the U.S. Senate, will be held that evening. It is expected that President Trump will make an appearance at this event.
During this time of divisiveness across the nation, the university realizes this will delight some members of our community and offend others.
University supports freedom of speech
As a university, we stand as an example for the community as a place where issues can be openly discussed and explored. The freedom to exchange views is both essential to the mission of the university and required by our legal obligations under the First Amendment.
We have an expressive activity policy in place to provide a community environment in which open discussion can occur without disrupting the academic mission or daily university functions.
All speech is free speech
We lease JQH Arena to individuals, organizations and corporations on a non-discriminatory basis. We cannot make decisions on who can and cannot rent university facilities based on personal beliefs or opinions. This is why we have a policy that provides unbiased guidelines that apply equally to all who wish to rent the facility.
This is not the first instance of a political campaign leasing space on our campus for a rally.
As an example, you may recall that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally in JQH days before the 2016 primary election.
Be respectful however you choose to participate
During the days leading up to the event, there is certain to be much discussion and media coverage.
Let's show the state and the rest of the country what it means to be a university in Missouri that understands and embraces free speech.
Please be respectful and represent the university in a way that makes everyone proud – whether you are attending or protesting the rally – or just staying home.
More information to come on logistics
Over the next few days, the university will be working closely with the United States Secret Service to determine security plans that will likely result in significant road and sidewalk closures around JQH.
We will provide a follow-up communication that will specifically address these and other operational details that will impact campus that day.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State.
Clifton M. Smart III