College Cracks Down on Student After He Uses Pic of Trump in Zoom Meeting Background


Colleges and universities, generally speaking, have been attempting to expel conservatism from their campuses for decades.

The days of fiery debates over ideas are long gone, and now a student simply existing as a patriotic American is enough to send students, faculty and staff members at some schools foaming at the mouth.

A doctoral student at a New Jersey university is learning that the hard way as he faces punishment after other students became offended when he used a picture of President Donald Trump as his background doing a Zoom call last month.

Robert Dailyda, 58, attends Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey, studying for a doctorate in organization leadership, according to the The Press of Atlantic City.

Amid a toxic political environment that is increasingly militant toward those who dissent from leftist views, the school has apparently ruled that the First Amendment rights of its students no longer apply, at least not for supporters of a certain elected president.

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Campus Reform reported that on July 1, Dailyda used a photo of Trump as his Zoom background, but that was problematic for others in the man’s online class.

Later that day, the student’s choice for a background image became the topic of conversation among other students, who communicated with Dailyda through an instant messaging app called GroupMe.

Dailyda left that chat and vented about the intolerance for conservatives on his Facebook page, according to a letter the conservative Foundation for Individual Rights in Education wrote to Stockton President Harvey Kesselman.

“I am done with the leftist agenda of BLM and the white self haters,” Dailyda wrote on Facbook, according to FIRE.

Do you think universities that deny students their rights should be penalized?

“I have seen it in action in my doctoral classes at Stockton and the general media. I’m not backing down. If we can’t get past this, ok, I’m ready to fight to the death for our country and against those that want to take it down.”

According to FIRE, another Facebook user then commented, “Bob Dailyda that’s what we do. (Quiet) but …we aim with persision. Boom done. No drama.”

Dailyda found himself in hot water over that, and was even paid a visit by campus police on July 3, according to the FIRE letter. No charges resulted from that meeting.

On July 10, according to the letter, Dailyda was interviewed by two members of the Stockton Care and Community Standards Office, who told him other students were offended by the Zoom background image, his comments in the GroupMe chat and the Facebook post.

They also asked him to explain his political views as well as the Trump image and the post, the letter states.

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“Dailyda explained that he was disappointed with Stockton’s institutional endorsement of the Black Lives Matter movement, aspects of which he does not support,” the FIRE letter states.

On July 16, according to the letter, Dailyda was charged with violating provisions of the campus code related to engaging in disruptive behavior, discrimination, harassment, creating a hostile environment, and potentially causing harm.

Dailyda now faces suspension, a fine of $50 and required attendance at a social justice workshop and a decision-making workshop as well as participation in a community service project, the FIRE letter states.

He was given until Friday, Aug. 7 to contest the charges.

Luckily for Dailyda, there are groups out there that offer assistance to embattled conservatives being held hostage by the liberals who run our country’s educational institutions.

The Philadelphia-based FIRE is one of them.

In its letter to Kesselman, FIRE blasted the charges against Dailyda and reminded the school of its obligation to honor the constitutional rights of all students, and not just ones whose opinions align with the worldview of campus leftists.

FIRE, in its letter, wrote that the school “must rescind the disciplinary charges,” citing the harmless nature of Dailyda’s actions.

The group also reminded the school that the First Amendment protects “offensive expression,” and that the student’s use of an image of President Trump cannot be penalized on the grounds that is is “disruptive.”

The Press of Atlantic City reported Kesselman responded to the dustup.

“When the institution receives complaints from faculty and students concerning student behavior that to them appears threatening, we have an obligation to investigate, and then hear those complaints utilizing our campus judicial system,” he said.

Dailyda faces a hearing, but a representative for FIRE told Campus Reform he hopes it will not come to that.

“FIRE is hoping the university sees the light and rescinds the disciplinary charges against him. We’re going to give Stockton a chance to make this right,” FIRE spokesman Zachary Greenberg said.

The Press of Atlantic City reported that a number of Dailyda’s classmates want to see him expelled, which seems an extreme measure, considering President Trump is the country’s elected leader.

It’s probably worth noting that, according to New Jersey Business, Stockton received $10 million in funds from the CARES Act, which Trump signed in March.

But as far as many modern campus liberals are concerned, conservatism should be banned from polite society, as extreme leftists now equate opinions different from their own with racism and fascism.

In the minds of leftists, this gives them not only a license to cancel their fellow Americans, but the moral high ground to do it.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.