East Carolina University says it has received 'great deal of feedback' since President Trump rally

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- East Carolina University issued a statement Friday regarding President Donald Trump's campaign rally that was held on campus earlier in the week.

The rally was met with criticism after Trump supporters chanted "send her back" about a young Democratic congresswoman who he's suggested should leave the U.S.

The university's chancellor said that it had received "a great deal of feedback" since the speech and said that it "does not control, and is not responsible for, the content of speech."

The statement also said that ECU has a diverse campus and encourages civil discourse.

"The U.S. Constitution allows the intellectual and individual freedom of expression that enables us to live our mission," it said. "These freedoms do not protect the right to hear and listen to only what is convenient and agreeable but do protect the right to be able to respond and express one's own views."

President Trump said Thursday that he was unhappy with the chant.

He claimed he tried to stop the chant, which came after he recited a litany of complaints about Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who fled to the U.S. as a child with her family from violence-wracked Somalia.

Read the full statement below:

Dear ECU Community,

We have received a great deal of feedback since the Trump Campaign visit on Wednesday (July 17). As you know and was stated several times, East Carolina University did not sponsor, host or endorse the event. As a public university, however, we must follow federal, state and UNC System guidelines regarding free speech. The Trump Campaign rented Minges Coliseum, which is available to any for-profit or non-profit group. With this event and with any event on our campus, the University does not control, and is not responsible for, the content of speech.

East Carolina University attracts students, faculty and staff from all over the region, state, nation and world. For decades, people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences have been proud to call themselves Pirates. A diverse campus allows us to pursue excellence in many ways and fields, to communicate effectively with a broad variety of audiences, and - according to our alumni - to be well prepared for the world after graduation.

ECU is indeed a welcoming and accepting campus that provides students, faculty and staff the opportunity and space to share their thoughts and views. We strive to create an environment where individuals feel wanted, welcomed, appreciated and valued, understanding that there will be times we disagree. That challenge, and sometimes conflict, builds resiliency and sharpens the intellect. That's the beauty of living, learning and working at a great institution of higher education.

We encourage and welcome civil discourse on our campus. The U.S. Constitution allows the intellectual and individual freedom of expression that enables us to live our mission. These freedoms do not protect the right to hear and listen to only what is convenient and agreeable but do protect the right to be able to respond and express one's own views. We will facilitate such conversations on the campus in the fall.

Across our campus, we strive to live out our ECU Creed (included below) and work toward a community that cherishes our diversity as a strength and value in our community and nation.
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