College Republicans penalized for committing 'inappropriate conduct' around its 'What is a woman?' video
The club was given a ‘disciplinary warning’ and threatened with further sanctions if another incident occurs.
The university also provided the student organization with the possibility for an appeal process.
Saint Louis University found the Catholic institution’s College Republicans chapter culpable of “inappropriate conduct” for notching a “political win” after posting a video emphasizing classmates’ reaction to the question, “What is a woman?”
SLU College Republicans President Nicholas Baker told Campus Reform, “We maintain that we have not violated any community standards, nor was our post inappropriate in any way, shape, or form. We fully intend to fight this verdict, and we are confident that we will come out on top.”
As Young America’s Foundation recently reported, SLU Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards assistant director William Bowey and case manager Dani Phillips sent an email to Baker stating that the September 29 video may “involve violations of the Community Standards as found in the Saint Louis University Student Handbook.” The video uses the line “What is a woman?” to refute fellow students’ endorsement of leftist gender ideology.
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Specifically, Phillips cited “inappropriate conduct” defined as “behavior that fails to uphold the University's mission, values, objectives and responsibilities; behavior that fails to model good citizenship.”
The letter requested that Baker schedule an individual hearing with Baker. If Baker were to “fail to schedule or attend this meeting,” the allegations “will be resolved without [Baker’s] input.”
Baker met with the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards on November 9.
Campus Reform obtained a copy of the Nov. 17 email from Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards informing Baker that SLU College Republicans were found SLU College Republicans “responsible” for “inappropriate conduct.”
The email stated:
“We determined, more likely than not, that the organization failed to uphold the University’s mission, values, objectives, and responsibilities, and failed to model good citizenship when the organization created and posted a video online under the auspices of their official social media platform, a platform which not only represents their organization but also represents the University.”
The email noted that SLU College Republicans meant to portray a “political win” by posting the video.
“SLU College Republicans described this as a ‘political win’ because they never received a satisfactory answer when they asked a non-SLU entity ‘what is a woman,” the document explained. “We would like to clarify that the records provided by the SLU College Republicans in our review show that an individual did actually respond to their question with a definition before the video was posted.”
The email added that “chartered student organizations” must “be mindful of our University’s mission and values by encouraging respect, fostering dialogue, promoting civil discourse, and seeking understanding.”
The SLU College Republicans were issued a “disciplinary warning for one year, effective until November 17, 2022.”
The warning “is an official written notification that the student's behavior is objectionable and violates the University's Community Standards; that the action or behavior must cease.” Further “misconduct” while the warning is in effect may “result in disciplinary probation.”
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The College Republicans will also have to “work with identified and approved campus leaders to create a draft proposal of a social media policy for student organizations,” cooperating with designated faculty to create a policy for the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards to evaluate.
The decision can be appealed if SLU College Republicans can demonstrate a “material deviation from the procedures set forth in the Community Standards” or produce “new or relevant information” that would impact the case’s outcome. The students were given five days to submit their appeal.
“If there’s currently no policy on social media standards for student organizations, as SLU is ordering us to help develop one, on what basis have they found us guilty?” SLU College Republicans Treasurer Louis Meyer told Campus Reform.
“As a former SLU student, I know how bad the mistreatment of conservatives can be. I have never seen it this bad, however,” added SLU College Republicans alumna Lucy Gonzalez. “The fact that this student group is getting reprimanded is disappointing, especially considering the leftist students who were cyberbullying the group’s members been given a free pass by the university.”
Campus Reform reached out to Saint Louis University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.