College Republicans suspended by UC Irvine after hosting Milo

The University of California, Irvine has suspended its College Republicans chapter for an entire year after the group hosted controversial conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos.

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Breitbart News reports that a UCI administrator recently requested to meet with leaders of the CRs, during which CR President Ariana Rowlands suggested the possibility of bringing Yiannopoulos back to campus.

Just four hours after the meeting, the group received an email stating that it had been suspended for an entire year.

The email, however, apparently cited the group’s failure to provide proof of insurance for hired private security guards as grounds for suspension—making no mention of Yiannopoulos’ appearance on campus.

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As Breitbart notes, the group had previously hosted David Horowitz on campus without being required to provide proof of insurance, nor was it penalized for not doing so.

Nonetheless, after Yiannopoulos’ visit to campus, the group has now lost its club status, meaning it will not be able to hold meetings, reserve space, or host events on campus.

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Even before the event, the administration had attempted to complicate the process by requiring the CRs to dish out an additional $1,000 in security fees on the grounds that the group was not officially affiliated with the school—a claim that was later challenged by the CRs and eventually dropped.

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Notably, UCI’s event was uncharacteristically tame in comparison to other Yiannopoulos lectures, which are routinely disrupted and shut down. In this case, however, the event went on without any interruptions, even garnering the praise of local lawmakers, leading some CR members to believe the group’s suspension was more of a political play than anything else.

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“We wanted his return to be a rally for young Republicans, just before the election, to invigorate and excite young conservatives to vote for the GOP. I told administration this, so it is clear that this suspension that comes during such a critical election year, is a political statement on behalf of UCI,” CR president Ariana Rowlands told Breitbart.

“They did everything they could to stop us from hosting him the first time, and now they want to make sure that we cannot host him again,” she added.

Likewise, CR social chair Carl Olson told Campus Reform that while UCI typically remains neutral on political issues, his group was met with opposition from the moment they mentioned hosting Yiannopoulos.

“Quite frankly, we were met with opposition right from the beginning with hosting Milo, so it does not come as a surprise that the university tried to niggle a loophole to get us pulled, after the fact,” he said. “I think the university wants to save face with progressives, and martyring our club seems like the easiest step for them.”

Olson said that the CR Executive Board is having ongoing discussions with its legal counsel and “some form of opposing action will be taken in the near future.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski