The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) newspaper, the University Echo, criticized senior Brenna Spencer’s decision to include a firearm in her graduation photos.
Spencer’s photo of herself in front of the Walnut Street Bridge wearing a “Women for Trump” T-shirt and exposing a firearm, which was tucked into her waistband, went viral.
I don’t take normal college graduation photos… pic.twitter.com/eI1NvLFYHs
— Brenna Spencer (@BrennaSpencer) April 7, 2018
The newspaper’s staff acknowledged the attention the photo received but expressed a series of criticisms in an opinion piece for the paper.
“As a staff, the Echo thinks that one of the biggest issue with the photo is that it speaks for the citizens of Chattanooga and students of UTC,” the article stated.
It explained that people who don’t know the university or the city now associate her with the school and Chattanooga.
In addition to the alleged misrepresentation, the article added that the newspaper’s staff considers the photo to be contradictory:
We think it’s contradicting that she’s approaching the situation from a feminist standpoint in support of Trump who has been known for his mistreatment and disrespect of women.
The staff also took umbrage with her perceived disrespect of the history behind the bridge and wrote that it believes she took the photo “strictly to get attention.”
Spencer’s photo, which she posted on Twitter, has received over 116,000 likes and 17,000 retweets. She anticipated that it would receive backlash but said it was surprising to see the level of hatred it evoked.