Citing a need to keep U.S. President Donald Trump out, Students’ Association (SA) President and senior Vito Martino signed an executive order Friday authorizing the construction of a wall around the River Campus.
“Beginning today, the University of Rochester gets back control of River Campus,” Martino said at a University Board of Trustees meeting. “We are going to keep the bad ones out—the president and his advisers and his cabinet and his supporters. This university is over when they can come to our campus and wreak havoc.”
While the board declined to comment, SA Government was vocally supportive of the move, with several senators and committee chairs cheering the news on Facebook.
“This order is the beginning of a new era of campus safety,” SA Senator Nick Foti said on the Facebook page Overheard at Rochester. “As opposed to sitting around and doing nothing for six months as the Campus Times claims, we were actually making arrangements for this tremendous project.”
The wall would require “extreme vetting” of anyone who attempts to enter the River Campus, whether by foot, car, or the UR Medical Center’s helicopter. An aide to Martino revealed on the condition of anonymity that the vetting would include an examination of voter records and a check of all emails and social media activity to see if an individual supported or voted for Trump.
An SA Appropriations Committee report revealed the wall’s cost to be 21.6 billion URos, with the recommendation that it be funded by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
“Such a move by the University of Rochester SA is inappropriate and unprecedented,” RIT President Dr. William Destler said at a press conference Saturday. “We intend to file an appeal with UR’s All-Campus Judicial Council.”
Martino quickly responded via his Twitter, @realVitoMartino: “ALL LIES. SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR CAMPUS IS AT STAKE. Make UR Great Again!”
In the day since the press conference, RIT issued a report showing that its endowment had more than tripled as supportive alumni looked to fund the estimated $25 for a round-trip cab ride from RIT to UR.
ACJC has yet to set a date for the trial, though it is unclear if the case will ever be brought up since Martino graduates in May.
The move has caused protests to erupt across the UR campus, with nearly twelve students filling the Ruth Merrill Student Organization Center before the University Fire Marshall and Public Safety issued citations for fire code violations.
“While we respect the right our students have to free speech, intentionally endangering their peers is an inexcusable act,” Director of Public Safety DPS Mark Fischer said. “We at DPS are committed to ensuring the safety of all UR students and faculty.”
A letter written by College Republicans has garnered the support of over three other student organization presidents. It states that “the executive order has no basis in fact that it will protect students.” The letter cited additional concerns that the order singles out conservative students and that it is an invasion of their privacy.
An IMPACT Petition posted to the SA website garnered over 87 signatures Saturday evening before it was taken down, presumably by Martino’s administration.
After initial coverage of the order was posted on the official Campus Times Facebook page, Martino tweeted: “The failing @campustimes writes total BS concerning me. They’ve gotten it wrong for six months, now are making up stories and sources. SAD!”
The Campus Times is dedicated to reporting only the truth and checks all of its sources. Additionally, internal polling of Campus Times editors revealed that, in fact, fewer than 20 percent would consider themselves to currently be “sad.”