The campus police chief for Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges was placed on administrative leave last week after school administrators caved to students protesting his recent appointment because he previously "liked" tweets supportive of President Donald Trump.
What are the details?
Chief Daniel Hect was hired for the post at the all-women colleges in January, after serving in the same position at two Ohio universities during his 30 years in law enforcement. Following the hiring announcement, Mount Holyoke students dug into Hect's Twitter feed and discovered he had "liked" tweets that were "almost exclusively in response to President Trump's tweets and included anti-immigration, pro-gun rights and racist sentiments," Smith College's newspaper, The Sophian, reported.
The chief's Twitter account has since been deleted, but according to The Sophian, he had the audacity to endorse messages from other users that stated, "Stay the course Pres. Trump," and "BUILD THAT WALL!!" Hect reportedly also liked a few tweets from the NRA, one of which read, "The National Rifle Association wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas!" and another stated, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."
According to The Daily Wire's Kassy Dillon — whose alma mater is Mount Holyoke — "other tweets were from President Trump discussing the border wall and the government shutdown." The specific contents of those messages were not available.
Students were horrified. Hect agreed to a number of community forums and listening sessions to hear their concerns. During one discussion covered by the Mount Holyoke newspaper, Hect repeatedly expressed his "sincere regret" over his behavior on social media and denounced the president, saying:
Donald Trump's viewpoints do not represent our country very well. When [Trump] did something that I thought he did well, I wanted to like [his tweets in reference to those successes] in hopes to lead to more good behavior. I do not support President Trump. The hate that comes out of the White House is not okay.
Hect's explanations and apologies fell flat.
After students continued to protest his appointment, Mount Holyoke President Sonya Stephens emailed students last Wednesday night to say, "Over the past few weeks, members of our community have expressed concerns about the ability of Chief Daniel Hect to develop the level of trust required to engage in community policing. In light of this, Chief Hect, who leads campus police at Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, has been placed on administrative leave," the Washington Examiner reported.
Michelle Dang, president of the Mount Holyoke College Republicans, responded to news of Hect's punishment by telling Campus Reform, "I reckon this unfair treatment toward Chief Daniel, a well-respected military veteran who has never allowed his viewpoints to affect his service. I'm fearful for my own well-being here in Mount Holyoke. What if the same instance happens to me, will the college then pressure me to leave or put me on expulsion?"