NEW BRUNSWICK -- Standing before hundreds of students last month, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi condemned President Donald Trump's travel ban on seven majority Muslim's country in strong and explicit terms.
"I believe it is contrary to what we believe as a university," Barchi said during a campus protest of Trump's executive orders on immigration. "And I thought it was contrary to what we believed as a nation."
The speech was a rarity for a college president who typically tries to stay out of politics and steer clear from controversy. So what prompted Barchi to speak up?
"Once the campaigns are over and we start having actions taken that directly impact my students at my university -- my ability to do what I need to do and our ability as a university to carry out our mission -- I have to speak out," Barchi said in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. "And that's what is happening."
Barchi made a point in the interview to explain that his words aren't meant to be partisan. It's Trump's actions that Barchi is speaking against, not Trump himself, the Rutgers president said, according to the report.
However, Barchi said he does have strong personally feelings about Trump's order.
"I fundamentally believe what I'm talking about here. This is stuff that I can get up on a podium and cry about," Barchi told the newspaper. "I don't do that very often, but it seriously bothers me and I think I have a very serious responsibility to speak out about that."
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