College Republicans ‘hope the school officials will do the right thing and set this blatant political attack straight’
After prominent author and critic of critical race theory James Lindsay delivered a speech at Northwestern University on May 2, the university’s student government froze the funds to the Republican organization on campus that co-hosted the event.
Northwestern University’s Associated Student Government voted to freeze funding for the Northwestern University College Republicans chapter using “emergency legislation” after a pair of controversial posters advertising Lindsay’s speech were discovered, according to the Daily Northwestern.
The student newspaper reported that one of the posters displayed a skull and crossbones that was superimposed over the LGBT Pride flag.
“We can’t prevent a speaker from coming to campus as student government. That’s done by administration,” Molly Whalen, co-president of ASG, said in support of freezing the funds. “We focused on the part that we could control, which is student group conduct and student group finances.”
Lindsay’s speech focused on the dangers of Marxism, the rise of what he terms “American Maoism” and the issue of transgenderism, the Post Millennial reported.
The move from Northwestern’s student government comes after Lindsay’s speech was protested by many left-leaning students, who objected to the author’s use of the term “groomer” in his writings.
In a statement before the event, Northwestern University spokesman Jon Yates said that although “the speaker’s views do not align with Northwestern’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, they are protected by free speech and free expression.”
Republicans on campus see the defunding of the NUCR chapter as the targeting of a conservative group in response to hosting speakers that question liberal ideology.
NUCR’s acting president, Agustin Bayer, believes the student government’s freeze of NUCR’s funds was unjustified and told The College Fix that the club learned of the move from a report in the school newspaper.
“They did not reach out to us regarding their concern over the advertisement before the event, nor did they invite us to speak for ourselves at the meeting, and in fact they still haven’t even officially notified us of their decision,” Bayer told The Fix in an email. “We only learned of their move from the school paper when they asked us for comment.”
Bayer added that the skull and crossbones poster at the center of the controversy was “actually designed by a member of YAF, the other student org[anization] co-hosting the event, who also happens to be gay.”
Bayer said that Northwestern Republicans “hope the school officials will do the right thing and set this blatant political attack straight.”
Northwestern University’s student government did not respond to a request from The College Fix seeking comment.
This is not the first time that conservative student organizations have been seemingly targeted by colleges across the nation.
In 2022, the administration of Belmont University in Tennessee cut funding for the school’s College Republicans chapter after they refused to abide by a mask mandate and invited an unapproved speaker.
“I didn’t even know that this was something that the administration could do,” Kaelinn Sabline-Schlusse, president of Belmont’s student government association, said at the time. “We had not heard of any sort of loss of funding with College Republicans.”
In 2020, Santa Barbara City College came under fire from civil liberties groups after its student government rejected a club charter for Turning Point USA, after informing chapter leaders that the organization’s views were unpopular on campus.
Michael Ross, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom who served as TPUSA’s counsel, told The Fix in an email at the time that Santa Barbara City College is “responsible for the student government’s discriminatory acts” regardless of its policies, “and it should rectify this immediately.”
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