An open letter thanking Rodney Davis

By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

nagelberghayleyDear Representative Rodney Davis,

Just over a year ago, I sat in your Champaign office lobbying you on the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action deal with Iran.  You listened to me respectfully, you asked how I was adjusting to college as an out of state student and you assured me you would do your best to represent me as a University student in your district.

This weekend, upon witnessing the leaked 2005 video of Donald Trump making abysmal comments regarding women, you withdrew your backing of Trump’s candidacy for president.

Party lines and politics aside, I think this declaration was the most moral decision you could have made.  I was instantly flooded with messages from fellow students showing appreciation for your announcement.  In making this choice, you mentioned raising your own children and the values and ideals you attempt to instill in them.

Moreover, you said, “The abhorrent comments made by Donald Trump are inexcusable and go directly against what I’ve been doing in Washington to combat assaults on college campuses.”

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This week on campus is the “It’s On Us” Fall Week of Action.  Pledge drives are taking place all over campus to encourage students to sign a pledge to help stop sexual assault.  Just like the work you’ve been involved with in Washington, helping students on campus understand the importance of making this commitment is vitally important.

Not only did you renounce support for Trump’s campaign, you also asked to have yourself removed from the Agriculture Advisory Committee.  I am a student in the college of Agriculture and Consumer Economic Sciences, and this is a school that prides itself in agricultural advancement.  The impact you could have made in this committee would have been great, but you stood for your principles and made a statement to best represent your constituents.

Many college campuses are accused of being home to apathetic and lethargic millennials who don’t care about politics.  The students at this university, the students who make up a vast amount of your constituents, do not fit this definition.  As this election cycle has progressed, students here have followed the campaigns and voiced their opinions at every stage of the process.  When the video of Trump leaked, this community of students responded as well.  Students of all political leanings were quick to share their thoughts on social media.

While not every student here agrees on every policy, and consequently while not every student here could possibly agree with all of your political stances, this stand for integrity was a gesture well received.

And while ethics and virtues are not the only issues that should be taken into consideration when looking towards voting in November, putting politics aside and judging the character of our representatives and the judgements they make has a way of unifying us as a community once more.

Thank you for standing for your beliefs, and thank you for being our representative.

Hayley is a sophomore in ACES.

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