SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara University’s inclusive and tolerant student leaders voted to reject a proposed conservative student organization on campus because it’s allegedly “against … humanity.”
The university’s Student Senate of the Associated Student Government voted 16 to 10 on Feb. 2 to reject an application from conservative students for official recognition of Turning Point USA – a student organization that aims to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibly, free markets, and limited government,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Those who spoke out against the group alleged it conflicts with the Jesuit school’s philosophy and “more than anything against our humanity,” according to the news site.
The vote, which came on the same day student social justice warriors at the University of California Berkeley set fire to their own campus in protest of Breitbart editor and conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, is the latest example of liberal college students and staff shutting out conservative voices, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk told Fox News.
“If you disagree with the leftist orthodoxy, they’re just going to call you a racist,” Kirk said. “Their right to assemble and their right to free speech has been completely barred by leftists on campus that are silencing them just because they disagree.”
Santa Clara University spokeswoman Deepa Arora told the Mercury News student leaders are responsible for granting groups official recognition on campus, which comes with privileges to use the university’s name and facilities and conduct on-campus events.
Those decisions are, however, made with the help of faculty advisors, at least one of which – Tedd Vanadilok – attempted to link Turning Point USA to a white nationalist group, Identity Evropa, that distributed fliers on campus.
“The slides went from white nationalism to alt-right to Richard Spencer to Milo Yiannopoulos to Turning Point USA,” student senator David Warne said. “I think it may have had a significant effect on the vote.”
Warne said that after the presentation, the decision to approve the Turning Point USA group was “problematic in the eyes of many because of past ties with Milo Yiannopoulos.”
Santa Clara University’s decision to shun Turning Point USA follows similar crackdowns on conservative groups across the country. In Michigan, two lawsuits are brewing against universities that forced conservative students to keep their thoughts to themselves.
At Grand Valley State University, two students with the school’s Turning Point USA chapter filed a federal lawsuit in December against GVSU trustees, the president and two administrators after they were repeatedly threatened with arrest for talking with their classmates about free speech and handing out free pocket-sized constitutions, EAGnews reports.
That case takes issue with GVSU’s speech policy, which limits free speech activities for conservative students to two areas that represent .03 percent of campus, according to the lawsuit, filed with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom.
The lawsuit alleges the same standard did not apply to students protesting Donald Trump’s historic election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November, when student protesters marched around and inside the Student Services building without confrontation with school officials.
A similar lawsuit alleges conservative students at Kellogg Community College were arrested by campus security for handing out pocket constitutions in violation of an “unwritten speech zone policy limiting student expression to one location on campus,” according to Mlive.
In Santa Clara, Turning Point USA was rejected for official recognition because “a lot of students expressed that they were afraid of feeling unsafe on campus,” Caleb Alleva, the group’s leader, told the Mercury News.
Warne, who is not a member of the group, said the safety fears are “ironic” considering recent antics on campus.
“I know a student who put a Trump-Pence sign outside their door and found it destroyed in a stairwell,” he said.