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University Council Meeting Credit: Freda Zhao , Freda Zhao

A representative for Penn's College Republicans criticized the administration at the University Council meeting in Houston Hall today, voicing frustration with the top-down critique of Trump's controversial immigration executive order from the administration and the selection of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a vocal critic of Trump, as this year's commencement speaker.

College and Wharton freshman Michael Moroz spoke during the Open Forum, expressing his “concern” on behalf of the College Republicans regarding the emails sent by administrators about President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

After Trump issued the order, Penn President Amy Gutmann broke her silence on the 1968 Wharton graduate to criticize his executive order in an email, calling it "injurious to our work." She also read the email aloud on College Green at a Faculty Senate protest on Jan. 30. Other departments and administrators sent emails to express solidarity with students, especially those directly affected by the order. 

Moroz said that the College Republicans were “dismayed” by the repeated emails from the administration, and added that he thinks “this kind of political debate is not within the purview of public positions the University ought to take.”

He said the College Republicans disagree with how the emails compare Jewish immigration to the United States during Word War II with the immigration of people affected by the executive order.

“The nations listed in the executive order are known to be unstable or are known to have terrorist groups operating within them,” Moroz said.

He added that these nations are part of a list created by the Obama administration to identify particular threats to homeland security. He continued to say that Trump’s executive order was, if anything, “too narrow,” and should have included more nations from the list.

Moroz said he thought the University should not take a stance on political issues because it “threatens to alienate students who hold reasonable but different beliefs from many on this campus.”

In addition to complaints about the emails, Moroz also said that the College Republicans were concerned about the selection of commencement speakers. He discussed how the past five speaker choices — Joe Biden, John Legend, Samantha Powers, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Booker — have “very little ideological diversity” among them.

He expressed hope that the University will invite more ideologically diverse speakers in the future and that it would “refrain from open or divisive political activity.”

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