UMass Amherst: Conservative Student Rejected from Serving on Student Government

Free Speech College
AFP PHOTO/Josh Edelson

A conservative student has been rejected from serving as a student senator on the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Student Government Association. The student says that he was denied due to his political views in a meeting where he was subjected to disrespect and mockery by his own peers.

UMass Amherst’s Student Government Association (SGA) has voted to block conservative student Richard Cullen from serving as a senator, despite Cullen having been recommended by a recruitment subcommittee to fill an active vacancy in the student senate.

Cullen, who is the vice president of the UMass Amherst College Republicans chapter, says that he believes the vote to reject his nomination was influenced by SGA members’ political bias against him, adding that he had been mocked, as well as interrogated with regards to his political views which had no relevance to student government.

Additionally, SGA members, as well as other students present, could be heard reacting with applause when Cullen was denied to serve on the student senate.

“It was a slap in the face to open-minded, welcoming individuals across campus,” wrote Cullen in an op-ed published in the The Daily Collegian on Tuesday, “I was interrogated on every angle of my opinions which were unpopular, but completely irrelevant for this situation.”

Cullen, who cited previously serving on the SGA as a freshman, said that he had desired to serve again after seeing SGA members declare that “police departments need not cooperate with Immigration Customs and Enforcement [ICE] in the ethnic cleansing of undocumented immigrants,” as the phrase “ethnic cleansing” was not an accurate description.

“I stood up for conservative ideals and refused to bend my knee to far-left ideals,” wrote the conservative student.

Cullen told Breitbart News that he had been recommended by SGA’s Outreach Development Committee to be appointed to the student senate, which was the same committee that had recommended him when he was a freshman, adding that he had no problem being appointed to the Senate back then.

“The only difference now was that I was an open conservative,” says Cullen, adding that it was “pretty blatant that they were biased against me” at the SGA meeting.

“This really isn’t just about me,” said Cullen to Breitbart News, “but it’s more about how people who have differing opinions should be able to represent students without the fear of being shot down — adults should be able to rationalize other people’s views.”

Going forward, Cullen says he wants to encourage other conservatives to get involved with more on campus. “Qualified open conservatives must be allowed to represent their fellow students without the fear of political persecution,” said Cullen, “Being afraid is no longer an option.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.


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