Empower Wisconsin | July 2, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Sometimes, when your dreams appear to come true, someone is waiting to interrogate you to see if you belong.
Samantha Pfefferle just learned that sad fact the hard way. Now she’s having second thoughts about her dream.
The 18-year-old New London High School graduate and incoming Marquette University freshman was grilled by Marquette admissions directors last week, put through a kind of higher education litmus test to see if she is woke enough to attend the left-leaning Milwaukee Jesuit school.
Pfefferle, in an interview with Empower Wisconsin this week, said admissions staff in a hastily-called Zoom meeting asked her questions like, What would she do if she lived in the same dorm as a “Dreamer” (young, undocumented immigrants in America under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors —DREAM — Act) and the Dreamer didn’t like Pfefferle’s opinions?
After the interrogation, Pfefferle said admissions officials suggested they wouldn’t let her become part of the Marquette family.
“They told me I wasn’t a student,” she said. “They said students at the university were complaining that what I said put people at risk at Marquette and that their (admissions) offer needs to be rescinded as soon as possible.”
A Marquette spokeswoman, in a late-night email Tuesday, told Empower Wisconsin that the school had not rescinded Pfefferle’s offer, although she acknowledged “the admissions team did recently have a conversation with incoming freshman Samantha Pfefferle about statements made on her social media accounts.”
Pfefferle, a conservative, has posted comments about her opposition to illegal immigration on her accounts.
The university did not answer Empower Wisconsin’s follow-up questions about whether admissions staff told her they need to rescind the school’s offer.
Pfefferle said Marquette’s statement is “pure deflection.” She said the same admissions representatives that grilled her didn’t have the courtesy to tell her that she had apparently passed their “moral” test.
“I haven’t heard back from them for over a week regarding my status,” Pfefferle said.
Pfefferle said she thinks the university is “trying to save face” in the wake of a conservative grassroots pushback against Marquette and the cyberbullies that egged the university on to turn away the incoming freshman.
She said Brian Troyer, Marquette’s director of undergraduate admissions, told her in the meeting last week that she wasn’t considered a student yet, despite the fact that she had received her acceptance letter, paid for her housing and had been assigned roommates. She also has a class schedule.
“If it truly was as clear cut as, ‘Her admissions offer has not been rescinded,’ why not email or call me instead of dragging your feet? Is this because they’re sitting down with their attorneys trying to establish legal grounds for admission nullification?” Pfefferle said.
She said Marquette was her dream school, and that she worked hard to get there. Now she’s not sure if she wants to go to a school that made her feel so unwelcome.
“I don’t want to get treated this way when I go there,” Pfefferle.