Campus Reform | College Republicans defend student council member who stood up to speech police

College Republicans defend student council member who stood up to speech police

The University of Virginia Student Council passed a resolution to institute a “strike system” against “racist” professors.

After one student pushed back against the resolution, fellow student council members condemned his views.

UVA College Republicans issued a statement condemning the behavior toward the student.

After standing up against a University of Virginia Student Council resolution to institute a “strike system” against “racist” professors, a first-year student received threats from his fellow classmates. Now the College Republicans group is coming to that student's aid.

In late October, the Organization of African Students at UVA issued a statement urging action against Professor Jeffrey Leopold for allegedly insensitive remarks, including broader changes to the school’s bias training system for professors.

In response, the Student Council passed “A Resolution Denouncing Repeated Instances of Racist Statements by Professors at the University.” The legislation recommends a “strike system/policy for professors to ensure that there are consequences and accountability for professor’s racist actions or statements.”

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According to footage of a student government meeting posted by Young America’s Foundation, University of Virginia first-year student Nick Cabrera, who is also a member of UVA’s YAF chapter, spoke out against the assumptions made by the resolution and its proponents. He called into question whether Leopold’s comments actually constituted a serious instance of racism.

“When Black folk say some s**t is racist, believe them the first time,” responded one student representative. 

“Since we want to be constitution buffs or whatever, guess what’s not protected? Hate speech,” replied another. “We have White people trying to be experts on things that don’t affect them, and I'm just going to put this out on the table for now and the future, what I’m never going to do is go back and forth with a non-Black person about what is racist and what is not racist to Black people.”

She also condemned Cabrera for allegedly hiding the fact that he is a Trump supporter.

A third student addressed Cabrera, who is Puerto Rican, and told him that “you as a Latinx student, myself as a Latinx woman, will never understand what Black people go through, and you don’t either. So why are you speaking on issues that don’t involve you?”

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The University of Virginia Student Council provided Campus Reform with two statements — one condemning violence against its members, and another condemning YAF’s “selective editing” of its meeting footage.

Though the Student Council alleges that YAF’s editing “was done to misrepresent the discussion that took place,” the former statement announces that the original footage will be “temporarily unavailable to the public.”

Following the meeting, the College Republicans at the University of Virginia issued a statement condemning the alleged harassment against Cabrera.

“Though a first-year student, Nick has been incredibly active during his relatively short time at the university… Nick answered the call to serve and ran to represent his class on Student Council,” explained the statement. However, Nick was forced to consider changing his “housing arrangement and filing police reports due to concerns about his personal safety.”

Details of any threats or harassment toward Cabrera were not made available.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Virginia, the Student Council, and Cabrera for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft