News & Politics

Donald Trump Supporters at the University of Maryland Decorated the Testudo Statue

Photo via Flickr user Xing Yishi.

With three weeks to go before the Maryland primary, Donald Trump supporters at University of Maryland are now campaigning on sacred territory: Testudo the Turtle.

Last Friday, Trump’s senior advisor and social media manager Dan Scavino tweeted a photo of the 80-year-old statue decked out in a “Make America Great Again” hat with a copy of Trump: The Art of the Deal perched beside it. The act seems to be the work of student group “Terps For Trump,” which also tweeted out photos of Trump messages written in chalk at various places on campus.

The Testudo picture—retweeted over 900 times—is part of Trump’s new #TheChalkening Twitter campaign, which is centered around showing support for the GOP hopeful on college campuses in America. The campaign comes in the wake of recent controversy at Emory University, where students claimed to be upset by seeing “Trump 2016” scrawled in chalk.

Maryland students haven’t reacted in the same way yet, though some have tweeted their dismay in seeing pro-Trump messages on the way to class Monday.

Vandalizing the Testudo statue is a time-honored tradition at Maryland. During finals week, students leave everything from snacks and cigarette cartons to lamp posts and stoves on the bronze turtle in hopes of receiving good marks on their exams. It’s not quite finals week yet, so whether or not the good fortune extends to the Trump campaign remains to be seen. A Baltimore Sun poll published March 11 put Trump in the lead with 34 percent of likely primary voters.