Demands for the Defunding of the Columbia College Republicans

The Black Students’ Organization (BSO) at Columbia University issued a statement demanding that the Columbia University College Republicans (CUCR) lose their funding. The BSO reacted to the recent speeches given by conservative speakers Tommy Robinson and Mike Cernovich, whom the Columbia Spectator deemed “white supremacists.” In a statement regarding the speakers, the BSO said, “We do not support, in any capacity, giving a platform to beliefs that blatantly oppose our livelihood and humanity, and especially not in the name of intellectual diversity.”

Students, New York residents, and Antifa activists organized Facebook events to protest Robinson and Cernovich as well.

The BSO demanded that the Student Governing Board refuse to continue funding the CUCR, even though the school had only paid for security and the facilities. Out of the roughly $250,000 given to Columbia student groups annually, just $4,640 was given to the CUCR last year. Joseph Siegel for CUCR succinctly summarized these efforts as trying to allow “a heckler’s veto to whomever feels emotionally hurt by anyone” and equating certain views to “physical ideas of safety and violence.” Despite the BSO’s efforts, university representatives stated that Columbia will not begin vetting speakers invited by CUCR, regardless of student backlash.