Hamline students react

36 students answered The Oracle’s online poll to discuss their opinions in the aftermath of the classroom incident.

Ben Rosenberg

Over four months have passed since the incident in Erika López Prater’s classroom. After weeks of near-silence on campus, the story exploded into national news over the winter break and now Hamline faces a lawsuit from Lopez Prater and a discussion about the future of the current administration.

Although The Oracle has had the opportunity to share some of the diverse perspectives on this issue through letters we have received, polling lets us listen to how students think and feel individually without requiring them to be organized or outspoken.

The poll consisted of eight statements and asked students to respond on an “agree/disagree” scale with a few opportunities to include an explanation. Respondents were required to provide a Hamline student email address, but all identifying information was removed from their responses.

36 students have responded. These are their answers.

Q. I have been following the news about the classroom incident.

91.7% of responding students agreed. 

Q. An email from David Everett, Hamline’s Assistant Vice President of Inclusive Excellence, described Lopez Prater’s actions as “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic.”

I agree with Everett’s statement about the classroom incident.

52.8% of responding students disagreed with this statement, with 30.6% saying that they “strongly disagree.” Still, responses were more varied for this statement than for any other.

Q. Hamline supports its students.

50% of responding students disagreed with this statement, with 44.4% of those saying that they “somewhat disagree.” Another 36.1% said they felt “neutral” about this statement. Just 13.9% of respondents agreed that Hamline supports its students.

Hamline supports its professors.

69.5% of responding students disagreed with this statement.

President Miller should resign.

58.4% of responding students agreed with this statement, and 30.6% said they felt “neutral.”

This question also included a space for students to explain their response. There was a lot to say.

“She has been here for me and my fellow students when we are hurt. She is fighting for us and reassuring us that Hamline is a home for Muslims as well,” said one student who “strongly disagreed” with the statement.

Many students who agreed with the statement also saw good intentions behind Miller’s conduct. 

“While being vocally supportive of Muslim students, her conduct (public statements to media) has undeniably created more controversy, and has overall harmed our community more than it has helped,” said another student who “strongly agreed.”

Many students who didn’t feel so strongly about the classroom incident still used this space to address their frustration with Miller’s other actions.

“She should not resign for protecting Muslim students. She should resign for her statement in the fall,” said a student who felt “neutral.”

Q. I’m worried about how people off-campus are responding to this situation.

80.5% of responding students agreed with this statement.

Most respondents mentioned fear from the hateful, threatening messages that have been sent to several of the students named in previous coverage of the classroom incident. Others talked about the impact on the image of the school itself.

“People either view this incident as proof that Hamline does not support academic freedom (and that Hamline students are getting subpar education as a result) or that Hamline does not support its Muslim students/faculty/community members,” said a student who “somewhat agreed.” 

“Neither image is very appealing, and neither represents my personal beliefs.” 

Q. I’m worried about how this will affect my education at Hamline.

58.4% of responding students agreed.

Students discussed their concerns about the value of a degree from Hamline—both from the unknown damages to the university’s reputation and the more concrete threat to its accreditation. 

“It sullies the reputation of the campus,” said a student who “strongly agreed.” 

“As a graduating senior, it’s the last thing I want to talk about in a job interview.”


This poll has ended.

Do you support the actions of Hamline’s administration?


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