Trump Supporters Interrupt College Republicans Meeting, Demand Executive Board Resignation
Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ve probably been following along with one of the most important and polarizing elections in the last 50 years. With both major party candidates selected in Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, the campus chatter and political activism has risen exponentially.
With political climate peaking, the College Democrats, College Independents, and College Republicans moved to the forefront of national political talk. These college organizations took a spotlight in the national conversation as some chose to not endorse their party’s respective candidate. Specifically, the Penn State College Republicans chose to not endorse GOP candidate Donald Trump, along with other chapters like the Harvard College Republicans.
Tonight kicked off the first meeting of the year for the Penn State College Republicans, and it was nothing short of dramatic. After the group refused to endorse the candidate, a select few students who support Donald Trump arrived at the meeting with “Make America Great Again” hats and a plan to sabotage the meeting by making bold declarations about the future of the organization, which was founded in 1940 here at Penn State.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and housekeeping announcements, Trump-supporting students stood and disrupted the meeting by chanting “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and other comments about the club’s constitution and status as a Republican organization. President Michael Straw addressed the Trumpeters by moving that such business be handled following the conclusion of the regular meeting.
The meeting carried on with little disruption, though a murmur could be heard from the scattered supporters. Finally, Straw opened the floor to the Trump supporters.
The vice president of the Penn State Students for Trump led the meeting as one of only two students prepared to voice their opinions respectably and carried a copy of the College Republicans Constitution. He began the laundry list of complaints the Trump supporters had with Straw and the other members of the College Republicans executive board.
The Students for Trump members alleged Straw did not properly allow a ballot deciding whether to endorse Trump or not, and that he never properly addressed the “nature of the questions on said ballot.”
The Students for Trump vice president and another member of the Trump group asked questions like “Who are you even voting for?” and “If we’re not endorsing a Republican, which is required according to our guidelines, what are we? The college independents?” These were accompanied by a plethora of shouts, chants, and hollering about the situation.
Citing the Constitution of the College Republicans on multiple clauses, the vice president of Students for Trump called for not only Straw to be impeached, but for the entire executive board to resign, and most surprisingly, he called for the club to have its charter and status as a Republican organization revoked.
Straw swiftly responded to the claims and settled the crowd down, explaining a vote couldn’t even be taken on the matter tonight for two reasons. First, there were a number of non-dues-paying members in the audience who couldn’t cast a vote. He also cited the Robert’s Rules of Order, the standard for meeting procedures, which provides a week for the executive board to meet and develop a ballot for the club to vote on.
Straw ended the meeting and chose to leave his organization with this: “Don’t let others define you, Define yourself. –Harvey Milk”
“I thought we [the executive board] handled it well, and we took everyone’s opinions and feelings into consideration,” Straw said of the meeting. He also explained his expectations of similar motions and disruptions in the future, but was glad that “every week is one week closer to an election.”
No matter where you stand on the issue, we’ll keep you posted on the situation as it develops through this election season.
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Though the Judicial Board has final say on the timing of implementing all policy changes, it is expected the changes will take effect for the 14th Assembly if approved.
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