"I don't think it should be surprising to anyone that Trump has flip-flopped his views," one Wagner College student said.
The college on Staten Island is still on winter break this week, but a new debate broke out on campus. The conversation surrounds a proposal that the college rescind the honorary degree it gave to Donald Trump in 2004.
"I think we should absolutely rescind his degree," one female Wagner College student said.
"I don't think it's really that big of a deal. Like, at this point it was, what, 15 years ago?" said another.
The Daily Show on Comedy Central triggered the new back-and-forth with a single tweet posted Saturday.
"Oh man, once Trump gets his wall he better hope no one shows Mexico this old video we found," the tweet said.
"If there's a concrete wall in front of you, go through it, go over it, go around it," Trump said in the 2004 video. "But get to the other side of that wall."
Trump was advising graduates to persevere when facing challenges, but critics are using his words to make fun of the president's push to build a border wall. Trump's demand for money to build it is at the heart of the deadlock in Washington that has partially shut down the federal government.
"I definitely think it's ironic. Like, ha-ha that's funny," another female Wagner College student said.
The new debate on campus has also given new life to a 2017 online petition that some Wagner College alumni started. After it closed more than a year ago, the petition opened up, seeking new signatures Sunday. The petition seeks to have the school's board of trustees rescind Trump's honorary degree.
Here in the city, the Trump name has already been removed from two Manhattan buildings. However, getting school officials to make a similar decision on Staten Island is a different story. The borough is one of the most friendly Trump territories in the country. During the 2016 Republican primary, he received more than 80 percent of the borough's vote.
Wagner College students NY1 spoke with were split.
"I think he should just keep it. It doesn't really matter," one student said. "It's something he said in 2004, so they should just leave it alone."
"In its time, it was fine," another student said. "Now, I do agree that we should look at the honorary doctorate again."
A Wagner College spokesman said the school had no comment.