Liberal privilege? Conservative student groups had to fight for their rights in 2020
Ashley Carnahan, Campus Reform
- Campus Reform took a look back at colleges across the country that denied recognition to conservative student groups in 2020.
- The list includes multiple universities denying conservative students the chance to start a Turning Point USA chapter on campus.
Baylor University rejected an application from conservative students looking to start a TPUSA chapter on campus. Emails obtained by Campus Reform showed the Department of Student Activities informing the students that the department “will be unable to grant a charter for Turning Point USA at Baylor.”
The university went on to list the three other conservative groups on campus. However, it did not respond to multiple email requests from Baylor TPUSA founder Oliver Mintz regarding clarification as to why the application was rejected.
The student government at Santa Barbara City College in California denied a charter request to students seeking to start a conservative group.
“This is a direct threat to our student democracy,” Student Luca Ferrel said of the prospective chapter, according to an article in the Channels student newspaper.
The student senate at SBCC voted unanimously to deny the Turning Point USA chapter a charter at the March 13 meeting. Nearly 50 students at SBCC had expressed interest in joining the TPUSA chapter on campus.
The Trinity University Student Government Association in denied funding for a Young Conservatives of Texas speaker event.
An email from the Student Government Association Finance Committee chairwoman to Trinity YCT chairwoman Julia Westwick said the speaker Young Conservatives wanted to host did not align with the school’s “values,” specifically when it comes to “honoring the dignity and worth of every person.”
Worcester State University’s Student Government Association (SGA) denied students’ requests to start a Turning Point USA chapter on campus. The 10-2 vote against recognizing TPUSA as a student organization was defended by the Student Government Association, citing concerns regarding the TPUSA having a “negative impact on campus climate.”
An SGA email notified students petitioning for the club’s creation that the denial was due to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League labeling TPUSA as a hate group.
The non-profit free speech organization Foundation for Individual Rights stepped in to help Worcester State University students.
In a letter to the student government, FIRE said, “the SGA’s rejection of TPUSA Worcester for its potential impact on ‘campus climate’ is impermissible viewpoint discrimination.”
The Worcester TPUSA chapter responded on Twitter, saying that the university did admit the student senate was “in the wrong.”