UC Irvine have restored the rights of the College Republicans to host events and access space on campus.
This overturns an earlier decision by the university, reported by Breitbart earlier in the week, to prevent the Republicans from accessing space on campus for a full academic year after campus adminstrators learned of their plans to invite senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus a second time.
In a letter to Ariana Rowlands, President of the UCI Republicans, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs said that the ban had been lifted pending appeal:
College Republicans at UCI
Dear Ms. Rowlands and the Authorized Signers of the College Republicans at UCI,
I am contacting you on behalf of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. As a follow-up to my letter sent yesterday, I want to share with you that the revocation of your privileges to access space on campus through UCI Student Center & Event Services has been withdrawn pending the final outcome of your appeal. At this time, your ability to access space on campus has been restored.
As mentioned in the June 22 letter, the vice chancellor invites you to submit your appeal by July 1. We look forward to hearing from you.
Chief of Staff
This u-turn by UCI’s administration comes after a massive backlash from conservatives and liberals both on campus and off. In addition to scathing reports from conservative and libertarian media, the President of the Holyoke College Republicans, Kassy Dillon, slammed UCI for their “insult to every College Republican across the country” in an op-ed for Breitbart.
Extraordinarily, even left-wingers on campus came out in support of their rivals’ right to free speech. In a rare display of bipartisan unity at the campus grassroots, the group for Bernie Sanders supporters at UCI issued a statement condemning the administration for “repeated mistreatment of political organizations that take part in open discourse on campus” and calling for the restoration of the College Republicans’ right to access college facilities.
Now those privileges have been restored — temporarily. UCI wants the College Republicans to enter the appeals process, which could implicitly legitimize the administration’s initial complaints. But the College Republicans have no intention of doing so.
In a statement posted on their Facebook wall, the College Republicans made it clear that they aren’t going to play ball:
CLUB STATEMENT ON DESIRED OUTCOME AND RESOLUTION TO THE SUSPENSION OF CRUCI
We want nothing less than a resolution by the University of California Regents to condemn rampant discrimination against conservative students. This discriminatory behavior has been going on for far too long and it needs to be put to an end. It is time for a group to stand up to fight for the rights of conservative students constantly suppressed by administrations across the UC system. We are that group. We will under no circumstances be submitting an appeal for the decision by UCI as that would be an admittance to a wrongdoing we did not commit. We will not be silenced and we will not be stopped.
Aware that they are facing a backlash, UC Irvine clearly want a face-saving compromise. But the College Republicans want more — they want them to admit that they were in the wrong.