- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2016

University of Illinois at Chicago students are petitioning to ban Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump from attending a scheduled appearance on campus Friday.

A Moveon.org petition demanding that UIC officials cancel the event has accumulated nearly 50,000 signatures. Faculty and staffers have also published an open letter expressing safety concerns, as an anti-Trump protest scheduled at the same time nears 10,000 RSVPs, The Daily Caller reported.

“We are deeply distressed that this event threatens to create a hostile and physically dangerous environment to the students, staff, faculty and alumni who come out to express their opposition,” the letter from faculty and staff read.

“The letter said professors are also “concerned by consistent reports that Trump supporters across the country have used racial slurs and attacked individuals who are members of groups that are represented, valued, and guaranteed respect and safety on our campus.”

Officials at UIC have said the Trump rally will go on as scheduled.

“It has been our standard practice for decades to rent available space on campus to any political candidate when requested,” UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis explained in a statement. “As a result, we have a long history of campaign events on campus, and no legal basis to exclude any candidate because of the views he or she expresses.”

He insisted that “security plans are in place to address the safety of our campus community during this event.”

The Chicago Police Department has refused to announce its security plan, The Daily Caller reported.

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