VIDEO: Republican student smeared as KKK 'Grand Wizard'

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • The Columbia University College Republicans were mercilessly derided as Nazis and white supremacists during a twice-annual comedy routine put on by the school's marching band.
  • At one point, the marching band's poet laureate slammed CUCR President Aristotle Boosalis as the group's "Grand Wizard."
  • She even mocked Boosalis for appearing on Fox News to discuss the harassment he has endured over his political beliefs, saying he just wanted a “space where white men could feel safe in their opinions.”
  • Flyer insinuating that the Columbia University College Republicans support sexual assault.

    The president of the Columbia University College Republicans was smeared as a “Grand Wizard” of the KKK during a twice-annual Finals Week comedy routine.

    Julia Arredondo, the poet laureate of the Columbia University Marching Band, attacked CUCR and its president, Aristotle Boosalis, in front of an audience of a few hundred students.

    "We all know that the only way to shut them up is to punch them in the face."   

    The skit, part of the traditional “Orgo Night” event, was livestreamed and watched by thousands more.


    Although school policy prohibits the band from playing in the library, band members circumvented security by concealing their instruments in backpacks and sneaking into the library. Larger instruments were stored in the library the morning beforehand.

    [RELATED: School paper smears Columbia Republicans as ‘far-right’]

    During the skit, Arredondo highlighted how CUCR members were targeted by Antifa flyers after they invited Mike Cernovich and Tommy Robinson to speak on campus. Cernovich was able to speak, but Robinson was shouted down.

    “Days later, flyers appeared exposing CUCR members for giving a platform to Nazis, something everyone on their floor could already tell from the whiff of burning crosses emanating from their dorm rooms,” Arredondo said.

    [RELATED: Republican Columbia student targeted by Antifa flyer]

    Arredondo mocked Boosalis as “CUCR’s Grand Wizard,” garnering squeals of approval, and then blasted his subsequent Fox News Channel appearance, claiming that he wanted a “space where white men could feel safe in their opinions.”

    CUCR shouldn’t be reasoned with, Arredondo went on to say.

    “We all know that the only way to shut them up is to punch them in the face,” she said, adding that “next time CUCR tries to host a Klan rally,” the marching band hopes there will be no available rooms on campus.

    Arredondo also compared CUCR to Nazis, urging the group to “think twice before placing another bulk order of arm bands.”

    [RELATED: Yale conference compares conservatives to KKK, Nazis]

    Boosalis told Campus Reform that the accusations were “disgraceful,” complaining that “they have used their platform to smear our club and label any person that comes to our meetings as a KKK member, even though we have a wide variety of people on the political spectrum that attend our meetings.”

    In the week preceding Orgo Night, the Columbia University Marching Band also posted flyers around campus with CUCR’s logo and pictures of Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K, Democratic Senator Al Franken, Kevin Spacey, and Matt Lauer, apparently insinuating that CUCR supports sexual assault.

    “We believe that sexual assault is never appropriate,” Boosalis said, calling the flyers “false advertising.”

    Next semester, CUCR will host Irving Roth, a Holocaust survivor and the Director of the Holocaust Resource Center at the Temple Judea of Manhasset, New York. Other speakers will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

    Campus Reform reached out to the Columbia University Marching Band and Arredondo for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

    Columbia University did not respond to a request for comment on whether the band would be subject to discipline for violating school policy.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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