President Donald Trump is visiting Florida International University on Monday to deliver a speech on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, bringing international attention to the university.
The president plans to discuss his support for interim President Juan Guaidó at the university’s Modesto A. Maidique campus, which is located near Doral – home to the largest Venezuelan community in South Florida. Trump’s speech will look to reinforce the belief that democracy should be restored to the South American country.
FIU is a public university and is non-partisan, yet the presidential visit could leave an impact on the public’s attitudes toward the university – whether it’s positive or negative – say experts on marketing and publicity.
Mel Diaz, the president and CEO of the Miami marketing agency Media Force Global Brands, says there won’t be any negative publicity because Trump is not campaigning.
“Internationally, everyone knows that the universities here in America are apolitical,” he said. “He isn’t campaigning. The problem comes from crises in strikes, for example. It all comes down to police control and security, but I think the university will be prepared.”
South Florida higher education and events specialist Laura Starr said universities strive to be a place where many types of ideas can be expressed. In that context, the visit is a good thing.
“I feel it would be good publicity in that local and possibly national communities would see it as a high-functioning institution,” she said.
Trump coming to FIU means more than good publicity. It could increase the university’s institutional value.
“A visit from a high-profile speaker [like Trump] shows that FIU has created powerful relationships, which allows the university to compete with some older and more established universities in what they have to offer,” Starr said.