Campus Reform | UVA student gov cancels bill condemning cancel culture

UVA student gov cancels bill condemning cancel culture

A representative of the Student Body Council at the University of Virginia proposed a resolution to condemn cancel culture on campus which was voted down.

The student who sponsored the bill explained that “no where in the legislation does it call for the implementation of a policy that would take away their speech, but rather simply condemn actions of mass cancelling.”

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A member of the Student Council Representative Body at the University of Virginia proposed a resolution on March 16 that would condemn cancel culture against members of the campus community.

Nickolaus Cabrera, a First-Year Representative at UVA, sponsored the resolution (SR21-15) which stated that “the Student Council Representative Body joins the UVA Student Body in

standing against CANCEL CULTURE at-large – not just on the basis political affiliation, but also ALL other factors as outlined by the UVA EOCR non-discrimination clause.”

The resolution further stated that “we as a Representative Body condemn the comment made on November 24th, 2020 against the members of the Young American’s for Freedom Chapter at the University of Virginia.”

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During the Student Body Council General Body meeting, the representatives voted on the resolution as well as two other bills. Multiple students and council members discussed the resolution and expressed concerns that this may restrict free speech rights for students who wish to voice their discontent with organizations.

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In a statement to Campus Reform Cabrera stated that “while the resolution includes examples that the Young Americans for Freedom at UVA have faced, its purpose was to condemn cancel culture at-large, including all groups that experience it as outlined in the UVA EOCR non-discriminatory clause, political affiliation being one of them. It was not to restrict Free Speech as members of the Representative Body had falsely claimed.”

The cancel culture resolution did not pass, according to the Cavalier Daily.

“I am a member of YAF at UVA and throughout this year we have experienced much pushback from our expressive activism.” Further stated Cabrera. “Most notably public banners being torn down and replaced with slander (“FXCK YAF”), being harassed at Beta Bridge (a public painting area for the UVA community) social media harassment after a post about our Pro-ACB campaign, as well as threats and harassment on public UVA Student Council meetings.”

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Cabrera said that the "tipping point" which led him to make the resolution is how some conservatives are treated on campus.

“The tipping point that led me to formulate this resolution is the ostracizing that many young conservatives, especially in college, face everyday. Many more College Conservatives exist, however we are constantly ostracized for our rational political opinions, making it extremely easy for conservatives at liberal universities to feel silenced and afraid to voice their beliefs. This is what ultimately made me more ambitious to present SR21-15 to the University of Virginia Student Council.”

The legislation also mentions an incident in which the Student Council at UVA “blocked (then unblocked upon being asked) their own approved Young American’s for Freedom CIO

on Twitter.” Which Cabrera provided as an example of why the resolution is needed.

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Cabrera told Campus Reform that “I think it’s odd how some on the UVA Student Council would say it restricts free speech when no where in the legislation does it call for the implementation of a policy that would take away their speech, but rather simply condemn actions of mass cancelling as described in the definition of ‘Cancel Culture’ in the first WHEREAS clause.” 

Campus Reform reached out to the university and student government for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.