College Republicans under investigation for 'thought crime'

The Columbia University College Republicans are under investigation after student government officials voted Sunday to report the group to the Student Conduct Office.

In a resolution passed Sunday night, the Columbia College Student Council voted to file a discrimination and harassment report against CUCR, citing the group’s invitation of conservative speakers such as Tommy Robinson and Mike Cernovich.

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The resolution was made after Columbia student Braxton Gutner, leader of the school’s Black Students Organization, came to the meeting to call for CUCR to be defunded.

Gutner urged students to support a petition demanding that Columbia “deem CUCR ineligible to receive [funding],” and to “redistribute” their funding to “self-identified Muslim groups,” and “people of color focused groups.”

Instead of supporting Gutner’s calls for CUCR to be defunded, student government leaders instead voted to file a complaint with the Student Conduct Office, a move which CUCR president Ari Boosalis compares to being investigated for “thought-crime.”

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“This is a direct attack on our existence,” Boosalis told Campus Reform in an interview. “They’re doing it because we think differently.”

Boosalis worries that this move by the student government “sets a precedent for students to silence other groups on campus,” saying, “They want to silence the speech of anyone who's Christian, conservative, who believes in free market values.”

It is unclear what the state of the investigation is currently, or what the potential recourse could be for CUCR if the club is found guilty, but the group still plans to host former lobbyist Jack Abramoff on November 14, and Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager on November 28.

Campus Reform reached out to the Columbia University administration, the Black Students Organization, and the Columbia Class Student Council, but did not receive any responses in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen