Student rep urges censure of colleague for disrupting CR meeting
Student activists taking over a meeting of the UC-Santa Cruz College Republicans.
A member of the University of California, Santa Cruz student government is asking colleagues to reconsider punishing a fellow representative for helping to shut down a College Republicans meeting.
The Student Union Assembly (SUA) previously absolved Sabina Wildman of violating the SUA Constitution after CR members accused her of being among the disruptive protesters who shouted down a recent meeting, but Keshev Kumar, the elected Cowell College representative of the SUA, told Campus Reform that when the initial vote took place, “the large majority of the space was unaware of what had taken place.”
"I never thought that the issue would become that there would be more closed-mindedness on the left."
“At the time, we did not have all the information. It was just some members of College Republicans coming to our meeting calling for the sanction of one of our members,” he said, noting that the now widely-viewed video of the incident had not yet been released at the time of the original vote.
In his official statement, Kumar said that he, “wholly condemn[s] the actions of my colleague…for disturbing a peaceful meeting of the UC Santa Cruz College Republicans. There are responsibilities that come with holding any elected office and the Student Union Assembly is no different. Constituents should never be subject to verbal abuse by their own representatives.”
“I urge the Student Union Assembly to reconsider the vote which found my colleague was innocent of any wrongdoing,” Kumar said, arguing that “We were made to vote without all of the necessary information to be properly informed.”
Wildman was allegedly one of the ringleaders in the shutdown of the College Republicans’ meeting.
According to Kumar, in the first SUA meeting since the incident Wildman “refused to speak at all.” However, at the most recent meeting on Tuesday, Wildman had been “very vocal.”
The meeting was set to have a re-vote on the previous week’s decision. However, the meeting went so far over time that the representatives were eventually forced to leave their meeting space and did not have time to hold a vote.
For a vote to be held at the next meeting, somebody would have to propose adding the issue to the agenda. The first time the issue was brought to the agenda, it was by the College Republicans. The second time, Kumar claimed, was by the Black Student Union SUA representative.
Kumar told Campus Reform that he received backlash for suggesting a re-vote, and was even accused of being a “white supremacist sympathizer.”
Kumar, however, pointed out that he has worked on five Democratic campaigns, saying, “I am not a Republican by any means. I just thought free speech was a bipartisan—in fact nonpartisan—issue.
“I’m an Indian,” Kumar added, noting that he was raised “in one of the most conservative areas in the state of California.
“I grew up a Democrat around conservatives for 18 years,” he added. “I grew up Democrat, my parents were Democrat. It was a family thing. We never were in a situation where I felt I was in any sort of danger because of my ideologies and views or race.”
“To get to a space like UCSC, somewhere that I had romanticized for a long time, I never thought that the issue would become that there would be more closed-mindedness on the left,” he continued. “I know that these folks don’t speak for the Democratic Party as a whole, but this is pretty mind boggling for me. My county voted over 70 percent for Trump. I still feel safe at home.
“At this point,” Kumar concluded, “we have so much information that reps are changing their minds.”
Kumar declared that the SUA needs to “reaffirm” that it is “representing the interests of all students” rather than just “defending one of its own.”
Campus Reform reached out to Wildman for comment, but did not receive a response.
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