Stanford Violates Constitution; Denies VP Mike Pence Event
The California College Republicans (CCR) formally condemn Stanford University and the university's Undergraduate Senate for denying funding for the Stanford College Republicans (SCR) to host Vice President Mike Pence in Winter Quarter. All legal options shall be considered to remedy the situation.
Yesterday, the Stanford Undergraduate Senate denied SCR's Stanford Grant Request of $6,000 to host Vice President Pence on campus. According to the Stanford Daily, "All other Stanford Grant requests were approved." One senator told the Daily that "Senators weighed student safety, freedom of speech and COVID-19 protocols' when voting on SCR's request for funding." The official reason for the vote was not given publicly.
The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Constitution states that the Student government cannot impede freedom of speech, and the U.S. Constitution provides free speech and freedom of expression protections for college students and campus speakers. The heckler's veto, which is the suppression of speech by the government due to the real or potential threat of a violent reaction by hecklers - is unconstitutional because it denies another's free speech rights. In this case, the Student Senate is acting as an arm of the California State Government by way of Leonard's Law, which applies the First Amendment to private schools and their administration; seeing as the government cannot supress speech due to possible hecklers, the Senate allegedly denying SCR's request over concerns for "safety" is a potential violation of the heckler's veto.
"The real reason for the rejection of our grant application is obvious---our grant was rejected explicitly because our speaker is a conservative ... The ASSU Senate is constitutionally obligated to approve our grant. We will not back down. We will actively expose the ASSU Senate and the broader Stanford administration for bias and will be considering legal avenues in the days ahead. We will make sure that Vice President Mike Pence speaks on campus this winter, and all attempts to stop this lecture from happening are completely futile," said Stephen Sills, Spokesman for the Stanford College Republicans and Vice Chairman of the California College Republicans.
CCR fully supports our chapter at Stanford University and is committed to correcting this unconstitutional decision. If you'd like to join us and voice your disapproval to Stanford and demand that they host Vice President Pence, contact the Student Senate at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Stanford University President at (650) 723-2481 or email@example.com. If you support CCR and SCR, then please consider donating at cacollegegop.com.
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