Student gov picks a fight with conservative group. Conservative group wins.
- The student government at Texas State University voted to ban the Turning Point USA chapter from campus.
- High profile officials, from the governor to the land commissioner, weighed in on the move.
- But the school's administration is not allowing the group to be banned.
The Student Government Association at Texas State University approved a nonbinding resolution calling for the removal of Turning Point USA as an organization from campus.
The resolution, written by Sens. Claudia Gasponi and Trevor Newman, is titled, “The Faculty and Student Safety Resolution of 2019" and demands that the university administration remove and bar TPUSA from campus, stating that the student organization has a negative history.
“Turning Point USA is a national organization with a consistent history of creating hostile work and learning environments through a myriad of intimidation tactics aimed against students and faculty,” states the resolution.
Gasponi also alleges that the student organization influences members of the SGA, politically and financially.
Additionally, the resolution claims that TPUSA uses its organization to "harass" other students and faculty “as they see fit,” and says that the group protects hate speech.
“Protecting hate speech under the guise that it is a component of free speech or academic freedom is counter-intuitive to providing a safe, healthy, fact-based, evidence-based environment," the resolution states. The resolution initially did not pass, but after some confusion over parliamentary procedures, they decided to vote again.
According to local radio news reporter Emily Martin, the resolution did pass after the second vote by a margin of 9-2.
One student spoke out against the removal of TPUSA at the student government meeting, stating that he “supports their right to exist,” and reminded the senate that removing the organization would be a violation of the First Amendment: “Our job in student government is to represent all students, including the ones who voted for Trump because they are all of our constituents."
As TPUSA’s President, Stormi Rodriguez, spoke at the meeting, students tried to drown out her voice, shouting “no more harassment, no more hate." “This piece [of legislation] is a joke, and it makes student government look like a joke,” Rodriguez said. “Last week I told you I would make you an example, and I have. We have the governor on our side and we have the land commissioner on our side.”
The TPUSA chapter president told Campus Reform after the resolution's passage that they would not be giving up.
“As an organization, we will not be stepping down from this fight for free speech,” Rodriguez said. “Our members deserve to have their voices heard, and we are determined to remain on this campus for them.”
Rodriguez tweeted that as she left the student government meeting, multiple students cursed at her flipped her off.
If the left wants an example of what it looks like to be threatening and intimidating students, they should look in a mirror at #txst.— Stormi Rodriguez (@stormirdgz) April 9, 2019
This is what awaited me when I left the Student Government meeting last night. This is the modern left. pic.twitter.com/jMFPFEUrQ2
While the student government may have voted to ban the TPUSA chapter, the Texas State University Dean of Students said in a statement that the organization is staying on campus.
“While Student Government exercised its right to act on a resolution put forth on April 1 to bar a recognized student organization from Texas State campuses, established University policy states that student organizations can only be barred if they are under disciplinary sanctions,” the statement read. “Student Government does not have the authority to independently bar a recognized student organization.”
The statement went on to say that the university “supports the constitutional rights of all of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.”
One student senator, Monica Mendez, told Campus Reform that while she agrees with most of the bill, the resolution isn’t necessarily the right way to take action against TPUSA.
“We as student senators can't regulate what a national organization does, said Mendez.” “I wished the authors would have used the channels that we do have. If they have any issues or reports of harassments, they could have used the Student Organizations Council, or student conduct, THEN it would have been on the official record, if you read the statement released by [Texas State] administration, it said that the only organizations that could be removed were those that had been sanctioned.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @asabes10