CAPITULATION: UC Irvine Permanently Reinstates College Republicans Following Breitbart Coverage

Robert Petrosyan, Ariana Rowlands, and Peter Van Voorhis of the UCI Republicans

“Rekt,” a variation of “wrecked,” is a word used in some sections of the internet to describe utter, humiliating defeat — or, if you’re on the winning side, total victory.

It’s a word that could be used to describe what happened to UC Irvine, the college that tried, and failed, to ban the College Republicans for an entire academic year after learning of their decision to host a second event with Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

In a letter to the College Republicans, UC Irvine’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs wrote that the initial decision to revoke the club’s permissions to host events on campus had been commuted to a warning. The decision had already been temporarily overturned by the university, but UC Irvine wanted the College Republicans to enter an appeals process before restoring their permissions permanently.

However, the College Republicans refused to play ball with the administration. They declined to enter the appeals process, arguing that to do so would be to acknowledge the legitimacy of the administration’s complaint.

Despite the College Republicans’ refusal to appeal their decision, UC Irvine have capitulated anyway. In the letter, the Vice Chancellor noted the appearance of “media reports” about the controversy that appeared prior to their decision — no doubt a reference to Breitbart’s coverage.

The decision followed backlash from conservatives and liberals at UC Irvine and elsewhere. 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.

Left-wingers on campus also 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.

In a comment to Breitbart Tech, Ariana Rowlands, President of the UC Irvine College Republicans, said she did not intend to let the matter rest.

“This complete revocation of the suspension placed on College Republicans is a big win for free speech and for free assembly, but also a victory for other clubs that go through the same type of administrative bias such as the Jewish, Bernie Sanders, and conservative clubs on our campus.”

“Our mission however has not changed. We want to make sure that similar incidents never happen again and we will still be fighting for a resolution by UC Regents to condemn discrimination against students based on political philosophy. College Republicans at UCI looks forward to addressing the UC Regents in person at one of their meetings.”

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