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College Republicans disavow UW group over ‘hurtful, inappropriate speech’

The University of Washington. (KIRO 7)

A clash between the University of Washington’s College Republicans chapter and the national organization came to a head recently, with the national committee asking the university to revoke the club’s status as a recognized student organization.

The national affiliate has long clashed with UW’s own chapter of the club, revoking its charter over a year ago. With another group on campus now also registered under the “College Republican” moniker, UW is no longer recognizing the old group, at the behest of the organization’s national leaders.

“We will have nothing to do with this unauthorized group as it is the policy of the CRNC that campuses be free from hurtful or inappropriate speech and be a forum for safe, lively, and diverse opinions being expressed from every corner of America,” College Republican National Committee Chairman Chandler Thornton penned in a late October letter.

UW College Republican president says free speech stifled by liberal students 

UW’s student Republican group caught flack from the national organization back in May for an “affirmative action bake sale,” and then over the summer for a controversial Tweet with a term commonly used by white nationalist organizations. The UW Daily News also cites issues dating back to 2017, for inviting the likes of far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulous, Patriot Prayer, and the Proud Boys to campus.

Meanwhile, the campus organization claims that it has yet to receive official word as to why it’s losing its status as a club, nor has the proper procedure been followed.

“Nothing has been cited,” the group’s Vice President Zach Wildfang told KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show. “And it’s also worth noting that to remove a group charter, there’s a set of bylaws and  things written in the Constitution of the College Republicans, and there’s a process that has to be followed to remove a charter — none of those processes took place.”

As of Monday, the group will be forced out of its office space on campus, and they will no longer be allowed to meet under the “College Republicans” label. That being so, they can take one of two routes: Join the newly-recognized UW College Republicans chapter, or operate under a new name.

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The group has no plans to take the former route, and as for the latter, Wildfang cited concerns over losing the name recognition they’ve worked for at UW over the years.

“I think a big part of it has been just the brand that we’ve built — we’ve become this force to be reckoned with on campus,” he noted.

Members will continue to meet in the interim as they figure out a path forward.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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