Campus Reform | Fordham punishes students over MAGA hat incident

Fordham punishes students over MAGA hat incident

Fordham University has imposed disciplinary sanctions on three students in relation to last year’s eviction of conservative students from a coffee shop for wearing MAGA gear.

In a video obtained by Campus Reform, Kristal Ho—the president of Rodrigue’s Coffee, a “student-run coffee house on Fordham's campus”—told members of the Fordham College Republicans they had five minutes to leave the coffee shop because their “Make America Great Again” apparel violated the shop’s “safe space” policy.

[RELATED: Campus coffee shop evicts College Republicans from ‘safe space’]

“I don’t want people like you supporting this club… no one here wants people like you supporting our club,” Ho exclaimed, adding, “I am giving you five minutes.”

“You are threatening the integrity of our club. This is a community standard—you are wearing hats that completely violate safe space policy,” Ho continued, proclaiming, “You have to take it off or you have to go.”

One of the College Republicans asked Ho what she believed the MAGA hat stands for, to which she shouted back, “Fascism, Nazis! You have three minutes.” 


Fordham conducted an investigation into the matter, determining that the incident was not a “demonstration” as defined by the school, and has now imposed sanctions on Ho and at least two College Republicans members.

According to The Fordham Ram, former CR member Sebastian Balasov received a “suspension of privileges” barring him from going to Rodrigue’s or interacting with Ho.

Balasov told the Ram that he received the punishment for recording and disseminating the video that depicted the incident, but denied having done so.

Fordham’s Code of Conduct prohibits “publication, distribution, or posting of recordings of members of the Fordham University community and/or any persons on Fordham University property online or via social media” unless all parties give consent.

Ho, meanwhile, was reportedly found guilty of violating the “Disorderly Conduct” policy and “engaging in or inciting others to engage in conduct…which prevents or limits the free expression of the ideas of others.” 

Both Balasov and Ho are now required to write apology letters for their actions during the confrontation.

Current CR member Jacob Floam also received sanctions from the university, and while he did not divulge the nature of the sanctions, he told the Ram that they do not affect his academic standing and that his record will not reflect the incident.

[RELATED: Student rep urges censure of colleague for disrupting CR meeting]

“It’s disappointing that university falls in line with mainstream left wing campus culture, and that leftist groups within the college reinforce it,” one member of the Fordham College Republicans told Campus Reform on condition of anonymity.

“Like any other college, they’re quick to suppress bad press and, more often than not, conservative students pay for it by nature of their actions,” the student alleged, adding, “I’m not sure the sanctions will change the discriminatory nature of the coffee house.”

Fordham declined to comment on the disciplinary matter. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @rMitchellGunter