The 2005 Access Hollywood recording depicting your clear intent to sexually harass and assault women appalls most people. Moreover, your response to this recording as “just locker room talk” is both dismissive and disturbing.
Across the country my fellow presidents and I work diligently with our students, faculty, and staff to combat sexual harassment and assault on our campuses. Furthermore, we expect our student-athletes (and all of our students) to maintain healthy attitudes and behavior toward persons of the opposite sex; in other words, we expect their locker room talk to reflect their respect for others. When you dismiss your words as “just locker room talk,” you tacitly approve these kinds of comments and actions as acceptable. They are not — anytime, anywhere.
As a leader, you clearly do not understand how peers, role models, and celebrities influence young people. Many vulnerable youth stand at the edge of a slippery slope that begins with lewd comments, advances to disrespectful action, and ends with indefensible sexual harassment and possible assault. Your behavior and dismissive response counter our efforts to stem the tide of sexual violence on campuses. Our students deserve leaders who model ethical values including respect and concern for others.
We strive to develop respectful attitudes and dialogue among all of our students…and it all starts with words, Mr. Trump.
John M. Anderson, Ph.D.
President, Millersville University