Conservative student denied leadership role for political views
A Tulane University student was denied a position on student government because concerns were raised that her conservative views would make her unable to represent students of color.
Abigail Michel, the chair of Tulane College Republicans, was nominated to serve as the director for student safety, a position that acts as a liaison between the student government and the university police department “in order to develop a safer campus that empowers every student.”
“I don’t think someone is qualified for this position if they don’t value...my opinions as a student of color.”
At Michel’s nomination hearing, however, at least one senator argued that her Facebook posts denouncing anti-Trump protests and safe spaces disqualified her for the position, reports The Tulane Hullabaloo.
“She referred to students of color fighting for their rights post-election as toddlers…yelling, marching around and demanding resources,” Senator Josh Rosenbaum complained.
Michel replied that while she recognized the posts could have been considered “inflammatory” by some, she intended to separate her political beliefs from her role as the director of student safety.
“I realize the Facebook post was inflammatory,” Michel replied, but vowed that she would not allow her political beliefs to influence her decisions, saying, “that is not the type of leader I intend to be.”
Nonetheless, her nomination was not approved by the senate, prompting USG President Sam Levin to speculate that perhaps the nomination process for the role was “not inclusive” enough.
“I will be making sure that they look for new aspects to make sure that it is more inclusive for marginalized students while also incorporating the senators and students who voiced their opinions,” Levin said.
Other students seemed to agree with his assessment, alleging that the Student Safety Committee and campus police have marginalized students of color.
“As a student of color, I feel like my safety needs have been constantly ignored,” freshman Semhal Abbady said, adding, “I don’t think someone is qualified for this position if they don’t value how I feel and my opinions as a student of color.”
Another student even complained about the presence of police on campus, asserting that a previous proposal to increase the number TUPD officers made a “significant amount of [the student] population” feel unsafe.
“There was a move to get more TUPD on campus,” senior Katalina Euraque said. “There was completely a lack of conversation on the fact that for a significant amount of population…that didn’t feel more safe.”
Campus Reform reached out to Abigail Michel for comment but did not receive a response by press time.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey