The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga school newspaper recently attacked a Trump supporting student for giving the college a “bad name.”
In an editorial published Wednesday, the University Echo criticized UTC senior Brenna Spencer over her viral graduation photo in which she wore a “Women for Trump” shirt and showed off a gun in her waistband.
I don’t take normal college graduation photos… pic.twitter.com/eI1NvLFYHs
— Brenna Spencer (@BrennaSpencer) April 7, 2018
“As a staff, the Echo thinks that one of the biggest issue with the photo is that it speaks for the citizens of Chattanooga and students of UTC. She is what people who know nothing about UTC and Chattanooga, now associate with our school and city,” the editorial states.
Spencer, who is a field director for the conservative student group Turning Point USA, took her photo in front of Chattanooga’s Walnut Street Bridge, which gave great offense to the Echo.
“We think that the photo is disrespectful of the Walnut Street Bridge and the history behind the historic Chattanooga landmark that has been around since 1889,” the editorial argued.
The paper was also outraged that Spencer could claim to be an empowered woman and support President Trump. “In relation to giving the community and UTC a bad name, we think it’s contradicting that she’s approaching the situation from a feminist standpoint in support of Trump who has been known for his mistreatment and disrespect of women,” the Echo said.
The paper argued that students publicly showing support for Trump or other conservative positions makes UTC look bad.
“We think that this situation is very similar to ‘The Chalkening’ situation that happened on UTC’s campus in 2016 where a political stance for attention went viral,” the editorial said. “We feel like the photo not only makes the university look bad but also those students who go to UTC.”
“The Chalkening” incident at UTC involved a student government representative participating in a pro-Trump chalking on campus. That act brought tremendous left-wing backlash against the pro-Trump representative and student leaders demanded her removal from that position. (RELATED: Student Government At Public University Wants To Kick Out Member Over Pro-Trump Chalking)
The editorial accuses Spencer of being a shallow attention seeker in its concluding paragraph.
“Altogether, we think she did it strictly to get attention and she got what she wanted by going viral and becoming a meme,” the article states. “Even though we didn’t agree with the photo or the purpose of the photo, we appreciate all of the memes that came out of it.”
Spencer told The Daily Caller Saturday that she wasn’t surprised by the hit piece.
“UTC is a very left leaning campus so I expected backlash from the school,” she told TheDC. “I’m proud of my photo and how viral it’s gone. The backlash I’ve experienced demonstrates the reality faced by conservative woman all over the country. I’m proud to responsibly exercise my God-given 2nd amendment right.”
Disclaimer: The author of this piece is a UTC alumnus who wrote a book the Echo wouldn’t like.