On campuses across the country, students are standing up for Donald Trump

HHunkered behind a MacBook decorated with stickers that read "This laptop was brought to you by capitalism" and "TRUMP 2016," Jake Lopez bounces T-shirt slogans off his friend Ian McIlvoy.

  1. NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08:  NBA athletes DeMarcus Cousins (rear, left) and Rudy Gay (rear, center) of The Sacramento Kings pose for a photo with President and CEO of U.S. Fund For UNICEF Caryl Stern (rear, second from left) and students at an event recognizing New York City students for their efforts to help with the UNICEF Tap Project at Trump SoHo on March 8, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for UNICEF)
    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: NBA athletes DeMarcus Cousins (rear, left) and Rudy Gay (rear, center) of The Sacramento Kings pose for a photo with President and CEO of U.S. Fund For UNICEF Caryl Stern (rear, second from left) and students at an event recognizing New York City students for their efforts to help with the UNICEF Tap Project at Trump SoHo on March 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for UNICEF)
  2. "Trumplicans," he says, nodding with satisfaction. "I think it'll take off."
    Lopez is the California director of Students for Trump. Working from his dorm at Westmont College, he helps marshal the thousands of students who are pounding out phone calls, taping up fliers and blanketing Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat in an effort to persuade their peers that Donald Trump is the man.
  3. Although vastly outnumbered nationwide by left-leaning classmates chanting "Feel the Bern," the youngest supporters of the GOP front-runner say they are similarly inspired by the hope of a radically different future and eager to support a leader who strikes them as anti-establishment and willing to speak his mind.
    The verbiage that erupts from Trump's stream-of-consciousness is not universally appreciated by students. Many say the very mention of his name can be hurtful, threatening or cause for intervention.
    A Mexican American student at Scripps College in Claremont woke up to "#trump2016" scrawled on the whiteboard outside her dorm room. The student body president called it a "racist act."
  4. On the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, students protested when someone wrote in chalk: "Accept the Inevitable: Trump 2016."

  5. Jim Wagner, the president of the university, met with protesters and later sent an email to everyone on campus saying, in part, "They voiced their genuine concern and pain in the face of this perceived intimidation."

  6. Young Trump followers say such backlash against minority opinion, in a realm where liberal culture dominates, is part of what draws them to the cause.

  7. "Today, there is a movement to silence differing views," Lopez says. He argues that the increasingly common practice of students turning to "safe spaces" is really about sheltering students from ideas with which they disagree.

  8. "That's not what America is about," he says. "Mr. Trump, he's single-handedly bringing back freedom of speech. He's enabled students to voice whatever we believe in a thoughtful way."
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  9. Students for Trump began as a Twitter account in October in a dorm room at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. Ryan Fournier, a freshman and early supporter of Rand Paul, was drawn to Trump's blunt rhetoric and policies on border control and employment.

  10. Between classes, homework and fraternity meetings, Fournier fired off tweets praising Trump and setting the record straight on what he considered misinformation.

  11. "We love Muslims. We hate Islamic Extremism!" one tweet said.

  12. In less than a month, Fournier had more than 14,000 Twitter followers. As GOP candidates like Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson dropped out of the presidential race, he gained thousands more. By December, he was devoting more than eight hours a day to spreading the word.

  13. More than 5,000 students in 200 chapters in 38 states are publicly on board. Fifteen chapters have taken hold in California, on campuses including UC Santa Barbara and USC.
  14. I'm on team ABH -- anyone but Hillary. I realized Trump can really do it, and the other candidates really can't.— Ian McIlvoy, Westmont College student