The Lehigh University and United Nations Partnership hosted a faculty teach-in on Sept. 24, where three Lehigh faculty members weighed in on Trump’s address to the UN.
Lehigh professors Mary Anne Madeira, Vera Fennel and Frank Gunter offered insight into Trump’s speech, which they said was 20-25 minutes longer than many addresses to the UN by other world leaders.
Trump encouraged leaders to forget about globalism and focus on loving their own countries, which he said would bring them political peace.
Hajer Sabil, ‘23, said she thought Trump did not say anything useful or new.
“He didn’t really say anything with purpose or substance at all,” Sabil said. “He just talked to talk. I guess there’s the different perspectives on it, which was interesting.”
Outside of the speech, a discussion about Trump and where he stands with the American people continued as the professors covered topics from China’s alleged theft of United States intellectual property to the supposed whistleblower that led to an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Gunter, a professor of economics, said an attempt to impeach Trump at the end of his term may be a step backwards for the Democratic party. It could serve to secure Trump a second term, as he could be cast as a martyr to his already significant following.
Despite increasing media attention, Trump did not discuss climate change during his speech.
Grace Lee, ‘23, was one of the students in attendance.
“There were a lot of key areas that the professors mentioned he didn’t cover,” Lee said. “Especially, I was surprised he didn’t talk as much about the climate march, given that the exact timing of it was happening literally outside the UN building.”
Fennel, a professor of political science, said she thinks access to intimate knowledge of the UN space and its happenings is very valuable to Lehigh.
“I think that our relationship with the UN is so important and so unique that I just want students to really take advantage of it,” she said
Fennel said the audience was both enthusiastic and informed, and the panel did not know much more than the students—a situation that led to rapid, specific and productive bipartisan discussion.
Bill Hunter, director of the UN partnership, coordinates the annual presentation.
“Having three faculty from three very different backgrounds, very different perspectives give their immediate feedback to President Trump and what he is, in effect, saying to the world is very exciting,” Hunter said. “… This could’ve gone on for another hour.”