The Black Students’ Organization at Columbia University is demanding for their school to defund the College Republicans because, as they claim, the views of those Republican students “oppose our humanity”.
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“We do not support, in any capacity, giving a platform to beliefs that blatantly oppose our livelihood and humanity, and especially not in the name of intellectual diversity,” BSO said in its proposal. The group also sought support from other student organizations, asking for participation in a “Columbia Coalition Against White Supremacy.”
During an open discussion at the Columbia College Student Council meeting on Sunday night, BSO members asked council members to pass a statement in support of its demands, arguing that CUCR does not have a positive impact on the campus community. Although CCSC controls how much funding SGB is able to distribute, it does not determine which groups the governing boards recognize. BSO receives funding from the Activities Board at Columbia, a different governing board that oversees funding for most identity-based groups.
“The ways in which we receive funding as a group and the way that we are legitimized as a group are by students passing judgement on how strong our programming is and how community-oriented we are,” said Braxton Gunter, CC ’18 and president of BSO. “This is a matter of who we allow a platform,” he said.
CUCR Director of Operations Joseph Siegel, CC ’19, argued that in attempting to bar certain speakers from campus, BSO was conflating intellectual ideas with “physical ideas of safety and violence,” and in doing so allowing “a heckler’s veto to whomever feels emotionally hurt by anyone.”
Robinson and Cernovich were paid to speak using outside funding, including from alumni and national conservative groups, according to members of CUCR. But the facilities and security used for the event were paid for with student activities fees.