By: Kiera Bell
Photo: USA Today
President Donald Trump recently threatened to cut funding to the University of California, Berkeley on Twitter to millions of watchers because of his “disagreeance” to their protest. Recently, sophomore Akshat Bhat and his friend and roommate Rohan Pai, a junior at Berkeley wanted to make sure the students on their campus and people across the nation were aware of the “Presidential Actions,” also the name of the app they created.
Both Bhat and Pai created an app that pulls primary source documents such as executive orders and presidential memorandums directly from the White House website and onto the app user’s newsfeed.
The tweet in which inspired this app was, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” Trump wrote on Twitter at 6:13 a.m. EST
Is this just an abuse of power? One could say so. Although, the protest turned violent, the students there were angry and refused to have Milo Yiannopoulos speak at the event on their campus.
Milo Yiannopoulos, a former editor at Breitbart News, is known for his gleeful attacks on political correctness that can sometimes veer into offensive and racially charged language. He has called feminism a cancer and Malala Yousafzai “schoolmarmish,” and as a gay immigrant says that he has faced backlash from other gay people when revealing his politics.
Stemming from Yiannopoulos’s background, you could see how this could affect individuals who do not agree with his ideas pertaining to certain groups of people.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with fighting for what you believe in, even if there are those who don’t agree with the actions behind it. But for funding to be threatened, is over the top, especially when Berkeley receives over $400 to $450 million in funding for research annually.
What will happen to other schools that decide to come together and protest for change? Further, what could happen to my university if we disagree with people who we believe will not be an asset to our understandings.
“I think it’s a great idea that these students created this app and also for making me aware that I too could access it and continue to be aware,” said Alexis Nickson, a senior at Delaware State University. “For Trump to threaten their funds because they came together as one and fought for something they believed in is unprofessional, no matter the damage, deal with those students,” she added.
Many people should keep in mind the access they have to things like the “Presidential Actions” app that informs readers of what Trump’s actions are during his days in the White House. It is very important to stay aware.