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College Republican accused of ‘bigotry’ for asking student gov candidate about ‘F*** ICE’ post

Incident under review, according to university

It is “bigotry” to ask a student candidate why she posted “F*** ICE” on her Instagram account, according to one campus leader.

Current University of Arizona student body president Alyssa Sanchez told College Republicans President Ricky Guthridge it was inappropriate for him to question a vice presidential candidate about her immigration views. ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona hosted a candidate forum on March 13.

Guthridge asked vice presidential candidate Jasmine Tafolla during a Q&A about her stance on Immigration and Customs enforcement. Several years prior she had posted a graphic that used the expletive directed toward ICE along with a similar version of the phrase in Spanish and a middle finger. Guthridge found the post after researching the candidate.

“You are asking a brown woman about ICE when she just said she doesn’t like it,” Sanchez is heard telling Guthridge.

Sanchez and other executive board members crowded around Guthridge during a break to argue with him and tell him to leave, the College Republican leader said.

“And you’re asking if she’s defunding it, when she never stated that, that’s inappropriate,” Sanchez said.

“So I can’t ask any questions like that, are you in favor of defunding ICE,” Guthridge asked.

“You know what I’m in favor of? You stepping out. I’m in favor of you stepping out of here,” Sanchez said.

“I’m allowed to ask a question,” he said.

“You’re allowed to ask questions, but if they’re filled with bigotry and just assumptions, so you can leave,” Sanchez responded.

“How is ICE bigotry,” he asked. “I’m saying you, your,” she said.

Asked for further clarification, a white, male student steps in to criticize Guthridge for asking a “Latino woman” for her views.

Tafolla and Sanchez did not respond to a requests for comment sent via Instagram on March 14.

The Tucson public university is investigating the incident.

“The University will review this alleged incident and determine what, if any, additional steps or response may be warranted,” the university told The Fix.

“The University of Arizona strongly believes in the opportunity for our students to engage in expressive activities consistent with applicable rights and responsibilities,” Director of Media Relations Nick Prevenas said.

Guthridge told The Fix he hopes action is taken against the student body president, as the incident is allegedly in violation of a university policy.

“This violates Section 21 of the student code of conduct that states you can’t participate in discriminatory practices,” he alleged.

Tafolla, the vice presidential candidate, is one of two on the ballot.

“As a first-generation college student, a Latina, and a student worker, I know many of the struggles we as students face here on campus and how positive action and change can contribute to building student success,” she wrote on her candidate blurb. “This starts with advocating for all students’ rights.”

“I will continue advocating for students and our communities here on campus. We are the foundation of this University and the ones who keep it running. I will do everything I can in my power to best support the student body.”

MORE: Arizona bill would allow for campus carry

IMAGES: Jasmine Tafolla/Instagram; University of Arizona

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About the Author
Logan Dubil -- Point Park University