As previously reported, the student senate at Santa Clara University held a meeting to discuss whether to allow a Turning Point USA chapter to be on recognized campus. Both students and faculty accused Turning Point and the Santa Clara members for being alt-right and racist. At the end, the student senators voted 16-10 against giving the group RSO status, denying them funding from the school and the ability to reserve spaces for its events.
After news broke of the decision, a national outcry against the student senate, along with financial pressure from donors according to sources familiar with the subject, prompted Vice Provost Jeanne Rosenberger to overturn the senate’s decision.
In a statement, Vice Provost Jeanne Rosenberger said the TPUSA challenge had “merit”:
“In my role as Vice Provost for Student Life, I reviewed the concerns raised by TPUSA-SCU and found merit in their challenge. Following a comprehensive review of available information, with the interest of upholding SCU’s education mission and values, I have decided to recognize Turning Point USA as a Registered Student Organization for the remainder of the 2016-17 academic year. Like all RSOs, TPUSA-SCU will need to follow the appropriate procedures for RSO renewal in all subsequent years.”
According to The Santa Clara, ASG Senate Chair Neil Datar said the initial decision was “informed” and did not like that the meeting was recorded and given to media outlets.
The TPUSA chapter president, Caleb Alleva, told the school newspaper the overriding of the senate’s decision was “a win for free speech on campus.”
The Santa Clara also published an open letter from a former ASG Senate Chair, who blasted the university’s decision to allow the TPUSA chapter to recognized by them.
“I woke up to see you had reversed the Senate’s decision in light of the firestorm of complaints Turning Point brought upon you. And I am infuriated”, she stated.
She goes on to compare the act of swastikas being drawn to the professor watchlist that is maintained by Turning Point:
“When swastikas are drawn in residence halls and white supremacist groups take over the ethnic studies bulletin board, emails are sent telling us that this isn’t what Santa Clara stands for. But when a student group that wants to affiliate with a national organization that vilifies professors who speak about white privilege in the classroom, you override the decisions of student leaders and register TPUSA as an RSO yourself.”
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