Samantha Pfefferle is the incoming college freshman who claimed Marquette University threatened to rescind her admission over videos she posted on TikTok that were supportive of President Donald Trump. Pfefferle said she has also received death threats and that other students were among those harassing her online.
Marquette has disputed the assertion that Pfefferle’s enrollment was in jeopardy. The university issued a statement explaining that her spot at the school was never rescinded. The statement added that the school contacted Pfefferle after officials were notified about the “alleged use of discriminatory language” and that “there were also concerns for the incoming student’s safety.”
Pfefferle is now calling on the university to take action against the students who harassed her online. She wrote on Facebook on July 8, “Failure to discipline the students who defamed, slandered, and bullied me sets a dangerous precedent for all students. Marquette has yet to address this issue! Cancel culture is destroying college campuses.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Video That Attracted Attention Featured Pfefferle Dancing Underneath a Trump 2020 Sign & a Poster That Read ‘Marquette Univesity 2024’
Failure to discipline the students who defamed, slandered, and bullied me sets a dangerous precedent for all students. Marquette has yet to address this issue! Cancel culture is destroying our college campuses. https://t.co/JR3bieDapo
— Samantha Pfefferle (@samanthapeffy) July 8, 2020
Pfefferle uses the moniker “conservativegirl0” on TikTok and wrote, “Follow me and take the red pill” in the bio section. She has posted support for President Trump before, but her account went viral after posting a video that included Marquette University signage.
The video in question has been viewed more than 600,000 times since Pfefferle posted it in June. In the clip, she danced underneath a Trump 2020 sign that was displayed in the window. A handmade sign that read “Marquette University 2024” was taped to the house. Pfefferle was also wearing a Marquette sweatshirt.
Pfefferle was lip-synching to the song “Gooba” by 6ix9ine in the video. The lyrics included: “You’re mad. I’m back, big mad. He’s mad, she’s mad, big sad, haha, don’t care, stay mad.”
Pfefferle referenced backlash she has received for vocalizing her support of the Trump administration. She included the following captions in the short video: “When people see that I support Trump, then try to hate on me, and think I’ll change my views.” Pfefferle appeared to laugh off the criticism in the description, where she wrote: “When the libs find their way to your page🤧🤣#trump #trump2020 #republicanhypehouse #republicans”
2. Marquette Students Shared an Email Template Calling On the School to Revoke Pfefferle’s Admission: Report
There was an effort by other Marquette students to convince the university to revoke Pfefferle’s admission to the school, according to The College Fix. The website reported that a student circulated an email template and urged others to send it to college administrators. The template read:
Ms. Pfefferle has been very vocal on social media (TikTok, Instagram) about how she is enthusiastic about coming to Marquette in the Fall. As a Marquette student who is passionate for the University’s core values, such as Cura Personalis, and recognizing everyone’s human dignity, these transphobic, racist, and xenophobic comments should not be tolerated.
These comments made by Ms. Pfefferle were shared publicly, and were clearly presented as mocking jokes. Ms. Pfefferle is obviously proud of her statements, as she stands behind her words in every post.
These comments create and perpetuate an unsafe space for the LGBTQ+ community, first generation students, and Dreamers at Marquette.
Samantha Pfefferle is proud of her transphobic and xenophobic opinions, which under no circumstances should be allowed at Marquette. The University can and should make it their priority to ensure students (specifically LGBTQ+, immigrants, first gen, and POC) feel safe, valued, and appreciated on campus.
It was not immediately clear which videos or posts the writer may have been referencing. As of this writing, Pfefferle’s Instagram account does not appear to contain offensive or threatening language. On her TikTok account, she described herself as a Trump supporter and appeared to laugh off people who condemn her for it.
In one video, Pfefferle addressed the notion that other students wanted to report her to Marquette administrators. “Marquette prides itself on diversity, which means your attempts to silence me is an infringement upon my first amendment rights and is a disservice to political tolerance. Conformity of thought is retrogressive because it leads to binary thinking,” Pfefferle said. “My views may be contrarian but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Now step off my page. Your intolerance is showing.”
Pfefferle’s other videos include explanations as to why she doesn’t believe President Trump is racist and lists policies to support that stance. She also argued that policies enacted by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were more harmful to minority groups. In another video, she again appeared to dismiss critics who claim that because she’s a Trump supporter, that means she must be “homophobic, racist” and “ignorant.”
3. Marquette Says The Notion That Pfefferle’s Admission Could Be Rescinded Was ‘False’
Marquette University issued a public statement after The College Fix published the original article on Pfefferle’s situation. Heavy reached out to the dean of undergraduate admissions and the director of university communication for more information. We received their July 8 statement in reply. In the statement, the university denied that Pfefferle’s admission might have been rescinded:
Marquette University’s admissions decisions are made based on academic achievements and student involvement, not political views. Information circulating today from a blog that Marquette might rescind the admission of incoming freshman Samantha Pfefferle is false. Marquette has not rescinded her admissions offer.
Concerns about this new student that were brought to the university’s attention were not based on political affiliation but on alleged use of discriminatory language. In this case, there were also concerns for the incoming student’s safety, which were investigated by the Marquette University Police Department and discussed with the incoming student.
By their very nature, institutions of higher education are places of public dialogue and vigorous discourse about the most compelling issues of the day. The 500-year-old tradition of Catholic, Jesuit education is grounded in the discovery of knowledge and the sharing of diverse viewpoints – political or otherwise. Marquette takes this responsibility very seriously and prides itself on teaching our students how to think, not what to think. Through university-sponsored events, student organizations and myriad opportunities for engagement, diverse viewpoints from across the political spectrum are shared regularly with opportunity for discussion and the airing of a variety of viewpoints.
As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, Marquette remains committed to a transformational education, one that seeks to form and inform students so they can transform the world around us. This is accomplished through research, scholarship, service learning and, above all, the way we educate our students to be men and women for and with others.
Pfefferle has also said that Marquette University contacted her on July 6 to inform her that her admission would not be rescinded.
4. Pfefferle Said the Dean Of Undergraduate Admissions Asked Her About Dreamers
Pfefferle explained to The College Fix that she received a call from Marquette’s dean of undergraduate admissions, Brian Troyer. She claimed he said that her place at the school was in “limbo” and that she was not yet a student. Pfefferle said she already has a class schedule, has been assigned a roommate and has paid for housing. Heavy reached out to Troyer for his side of the story but we have not heard back.
Pfefferle added that Troyer asked her questions about how she might respond if approached by a fellow student who happened to be a Dreamer. The DACA program shields immigrants, who were brought to the United States illegally as children, from deportation. President Trump has pushed to end the program but in mid-June, the Supreme Court ruled that the administration had not provided a strong enough legal rationale for ending DACA.
Pfefferle said Troyer also asked her whether she was “comfortable with the reputation” she has created on campus with her TikTok videos. She later expressed her views about the phone call in a Facebook post: “No student should be subjected to a litmus test by their University based on their political affiliation.”
5. Pfefferle Has Received Support From Donald Trump Jr & the Former Wisconsin Governor On Social Media
View this post on Instagram
Thank you @donaldjtrumpjr for your support! I will continue to be an advocate for free speech. To witness firsthand the ridicule and animus many have had against our President makes me stronger! President Trump has stayed resilient and loyal to this Nation. @realdonaldtrump
Pfefferle’s case has attracted national attention and she has even received support from a member of thr Trump family. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a link to The College Fix article and included the comment, “Defund academic leftist indoctrination! It’s truly sad what’s going on in college campuses.” Pfefferle then shared Trump Jr.’s tweet and added, “It has to stop! The leftist students attempted to strip of my future with baseless accusations.”
The former governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, also weighed in. “Another example of the growing reality that colleges don’t want political diversity on campus. Did they follow up with any incoming students who posted ‘Defund the Police’? I doubt it. Thankfully she ultimately got in but it shouldn’t have been an issue.”
Since her story began making headlines, Pfefferle shared that she was invited to speak in front of the Waupaca County Republican Party. She also wrote on July 7 that the controversy would not intimate her. “I will continue to be an advocate for the liberation of conservative voices on college campuses across this great Nation!”
When they ask for your address! 😂 pic.twitter.com/tDPZqtuPNK
— Samantha Pfefferle (@samanthapeffy) July 9, 2020
Pfefferle has continued that rhetoric in additional social media posts. She tweeted at President Trump on July 9, “I feel your pain! Your resilience and perseverance keeps me going during my battle!” She also posted a picture of herself holding a rifle with the caption, “When they ask for your address!”