The night before Thanksgiving, the College Republicans chapter at the University of Oregon (UOCR) faced a hearing before the Student Senate. According to the College Democrats, they had shown support for the Proud Boys by posing for pictures at the Stop the Steal rally earlier in November, in which banners for the Proud Boys appear in the background. The Senate passed a resolution naming the College Republicans, calling on student groups to do more to denounce white supremacy. Now the College Republicans fear they could face defunding by the college due to the uproar.
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In an exclusive interview with PJ Media, Will Christensen, the president of the College Republicans, said the picture went viral after they posted it to their Instagram account. In the picture, you can see the Proud Boys flags in the background, but the rally attendees from the College Republicans clearly bear no affiliation with the group. The rally was not affiliated with or held by the Proud Boys. Christensen added that the Senate failed to publish the proposed resolution or provide him a copy prior to the hearing. The non-binding resolution calls on the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, which governs student groups, to implement cultural competency training for all student group leaders.
In a hearing on November 24, the Senate heard testimony from Christensen, as well as other officers of the College Republicans. They also heard from the University of Oregon College Democrats (UOCD) and the UO Young Democratic Socialists. Testimony lasted about half an hour. According to the Daily Emerald, the student newspaper, after the testimony concluded, the resolution passed unanimously with no discussion among voting members of the Senate.
The resolution reads:
ASUO STUDENT SENATE RESOLUTION 2020-004
November 24, 2020
University of Oregon
1585 E 13th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97403
UO Community Members:
In response to a recent Instagram post by the UO College Republicans, the ASUO Senate took action in passing Resolution 2020-004. Through the resolution, the ASUO Senate:
(1)Rejects and condemns White nationalism and White supremacy;
(2)Deems the use of White supremacist symbols and rhetoric without acknowledgement of educational purpose or denouncement of White supremacy as hate speech;
(3)Reminds White students that communities of color face White supremacy on a daily basis and demands White students hold each other accountable;
(4)Considers the use of White supremacist symbols and rhetoric without acknowledgementof educational purpose or denouncement as university misconduct;
(5)Reiterates that all ASUO Student Organizations are required to follow the ASUO Student Organization Rules;
(6)Calls upon the ASUO Executive to revise the ASUO Diversity Statement to condemn hate speech and affiliation with White nationalist and White supremacist groups; and
(7)Further calls upon the ASUO Executive to amend ASUO Student Organization Rules to hold ASUO student organizations to a higher standard and require all organization leaders attend cultural competency training to maintain their recognition status.
ASUO Senate Executive
Christensen called the resolution arbitrary and said it’s basically unenforceable. “It’s pretty vague,” he said. “I think this might even be able to be extended to not just recognized leaders. It’s very carefully written so that it can be interpreted basically in whatever way they want to. I think most of it was really just to virtue signal. It was really just to say, ‘Oh look we did something about this,’ you know, ‘look at what good people we are that we really stuck it to the man,’ you know, and that’s really what this whole thing is.”
The secretary of the College Republicans gave a YouTube interview to the leader of a Proud Boys chapter in Texas in October, adding fuel to the fire for the leftist groups. Christensen said if the Proud Boys are actually white supremacists, they’re doing a bad job of it. “There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that they are actually white supremacists,” he said. “I mean, the president is a Black Cuban. I said in the meeting if this is a white supremacist group, they’re really really bad at it.”
The Daily Emerald reports, “the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the Proud Boys as a hate group and acknowledges the threat that white supremacist groups pose.” The Student Senate used this as justification for the hearing. Apparently, news of the SPLC’s fall from grace has yet to make it to the campus of the University of Oregon.
Despite these recent events, Christensen says the future of the College Republicans is brighter than ever. “We are still unsure of exactly what our response will be if the trainings are actually instituted,” he said, “but as far as the future of the club more generally, I think it’s brighter than ever. I mean this really cements us, honestly, as a key part of the campus culture.”
You can hear the entire interview at the Behind the Curtain podcast.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.