Yesterday, it was reported that the administration of UC Irvine suspended the College Republicans club for an entire year – simply on account of their interest in holding a second event with Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
They claimed the suspension was on account of a security and insurance lapse at a previous event: the latest in a string of hostile interactions with the administration over club events and logistics. Then, they tried to backpedal and claim they weren’t suspending the group’s charter; just the group’s ability to host meetings or events – in other words, their ability to do anything as a group. The group could exist, but only for the sake of existing. For what, at worst, amounts to a poor ability to communicate, the club was suspended not just from holding one event, nor for one semester, but for an entire year. I mean, come on, is Milo really that scary?
As a College Republican President, I am outraged. This affects more than just the Republicans at University of California, Irvine. This is an insult to every College Republican across the country: and frankly, an insult to any halfway sensible person on the face of the earth. UCI’s College Republicans chapter is under attack in an attempt to cater to the liberal lunacy that the school clearly encourages among its students.
When I started at Mount Holyoke College, I knew that there would only be a very small amount of students who would openly identify as Republican. I found this group – even though it only has five active students in a campus of 2,255 – as a place where I can openly express and develop my views and not worry about being silenced. I began as the Treasurer in my freshman year and will be starting my junior year in the fall as the President.
I became President because I am not afraid to have and share controversial views that people on college campuses don’t agree with — but not every student is as willing to speak up as me. The number-one way to expand a club’s reach on campus is to give it publicity, and often the best way to do that is to host a speaker.
When a speaker comes – especially one as well-known and controversial as Milo – it brings a crowd. It goes a long way to help your club gain interest and recruit others. We can only learn so much from our own professors, who have been talking about the same exact topics, every year, for their entire tenure. It is important to have guest speakers so they can bring new thoughts and ideas onto campus. Or are they only important if they are willing to indoctrinate the way administrators want them to?
The UC Irvine website uses the word “diversity” more times than I’m interested in counting. It claims it is “committed to excellence through diversity and to the goal of reflecting diversity in our faculty, student and staff populations.” Apparently, diversity needs to be a selling point for the school and diversity at your institution means seeking out students of numerous backgrounds for the sake of saying you’re diverse and limiting their access to ideas that may seem controversial, conflict your own political agenda, or, my favorite, don’t seem “safe.” Coddling students in a blanket of “diversity” and “safety” is just a way to keep out the “unsafe” beliefs that other students have.
What does that diversity truly mean? Does diversity no longer apply when students disagree with your personal agenda? As I see it, the first rule of diversity club is, we don’t think about diversity club. You achieve diversity when it isn’t even a goal: when people want to come to your school because of its reputation and prestige. Petty arguments over political leanings don’t help reputation or prestige at all.
If you want to talk about diversity, let’s talk about the Chairman Emeritus of College Republicans at UC Irvine’s College Republican chapter, Rob Petrosyan. As someone whose family grew up in the Soviet Union, his background is far from “average white male.” As he told me in an interview, “I know how precious freedom of expression is, and we cannot allow for leftists to perform the same restrictive actions in America. This is why me and our club intends to fight against it, not only for the sake of our own organization, but for the sake of organizations all over the country that could be subject to being targeted if we don’t succeed here.”
What a true college needs is intellectual diversity: a place with freedom of ideas. An academic institution without intellectual diversity is like a bike with training wheels. It serves its purpose for a brief time but will be utterly futile unless the kid eventually learns how to ride a two wheeler on her own.
College Republicans are especially important to campuses around the country. The two party system is fundamental to our country, why not our colleges? It is no secret that we are greatly outnumbered by the college Democrats. Fellow club members such as myself are training ourselves to be politicians, activists, journalists, and the like. If nothing else, we want to be more politically engaged people in society and to understand the necessity of conservative values. By suspending these students you are not going to force them to drop their views and get in line with your ideology: you are giving them a cause worth fighting for.
So I say to the UC Irvine Administration: You are insulting young college conservatives all around the country. Only a select few students will fit the liberal mold that professors indoctrinate students with throughout their entire time at your university. A college campus has always been a place where students come to share ideas, to learn, and to better develop what they believe. It cannot be a place where ideas are repressed, punished, and vilified.
UC Irvine is representative of the majority of colleges and universities who are responsible for intolerant social justice cry bullies filling the population. They are used to hearing only the views that are preached to them at their safe space universities, and when they hear anything else they scream and shout to avoid any platform of logical debate. These brainwashed victims of these universities liberal agenda are the same protesters we see at Trump events who go out of their way to harm others.
No matter how controversial you think Milo Yiannopoulos is, he is the face of the future for Republicans and young conservatives. He displays the importance of free speech and not being afraid to share your own views. In short, he makes it okay for you to be you.
These sort of intolerant colleges are ruining our society, killing our education system, and creating graduates who are not equipped to go into the workforce as leaders. UC Irvine College Republicans: you are not alone. The rest of us College Republicans will not let this go.
Kassy Dillon is the President of the Mount Holyoke College Republicans. You can follow her on Twitter @KassyDillon.