TPUSA takes a victory on campus

President+of+Texas+State%27s+chapter+of+Turning+Point+USA+Stormi+Rodriguez+speaks+Oct.+24+before+a+keynote+from+TPUSA+founder+Charlie+Kirk+and+communications+director+Candace+Owens.
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TPUSA takes a victory on campus

President of Texas State's chapter of Turning Point USA Stormi Rodriguez speaks Oct. 24 before a keynote from TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and communications director Candace Owens.

President of Texas State's chapter of Turning Point USA Stormi Rodriguez speaks Oct. 24 before a keynote from TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and communications director Candace Owens.

President of Texas State's chapter of Turning Point USA Stormi Rodriguez speaks Oct. 24 before a keynote from TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and communications director Candace Owens.

President of Texas State's chapter of Turning Point USA Stormi Rodriguez speaks Oct. 24 before a keynote from TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and communications director Candace Owens.

Sierra Martin

Following the passing of The Faculty and Student Safety Resolution of 2019, Student Government President Alison Castillo vetoed the barring of TPUSA, leaving the organization to recover and look forward to its future impact on campus. 

Student Government passed legislation to have the organization removed from campus on the grounds TPUSA promotes hate speech and endangers the safety of students and faculty.

At the April 8 Student Government meeting, Texas State students spoke out against and in support of the resolution, with a record of 27 students speaking during the open forum. Largely vocal students had to be escorted out of the meeting by University Police Department officers.

Additionally, the public forum initially came to a close due to the amount of verbal protesting while those who were in support of TPUSA were speaking. Claudia Gasponi, co-author of the legislation, held a vote to reinstate the public forum and give students a chance to have their opinions heard.

Phrases such as “race traitor” were yelled when TPUSA Vice President and woman of color Kearyn Bolin voiced her support for the organization. Additionally, a student who spoke on how TPUSA helped her overcome her sexual assault was ridiculed while speaking at the forum.

In addition, while TPUSA President Stormi Rodriguez was speaking at the student government meeting, attendees chanted, “No more harassment, no more hate. Remove Turning Point from Texas State,” could be heard throughout the lecture hall.

In response to the conflict, TPUSA students remained quiet, seated together with some members frequently filming the student government meeting.

Preston Nieves, student senator, was concerned with the possible message barring the organization would send to conservative, Republican groups on campus.

“This legislation is extremely short-sighted, ideologically driven and being written and introduced for all the wrong reasons,” Nieves said. “I’ll be the first to admit that Turning Point USA does sketchy things on campus. On a political level, they still have the rights to due process, the rights to innocent until proven guilty and the right of freedom of not only speech, but association, which is protected by the First amendment.”

In response to news coverage of the resolution and the viral video of the TPUSA president getting yelled at while leaving the student government meeting, new members have joined TPUSA to express their conservative beliefs amongst liberals on campus. 

The video has gained the attention of Charlie Kirk, founder of TPUSA, who claimed the legislation against the conservative organization represents “hate by the left” and described the treatment of members as “despicable.”

Additionally, Texas Governor Greg Abbott questioned if Texas State should be funded by Texas taxpayers, threatening to defund the university. This would affect the research grants Texas State receives and cause students to not collect funding through federal loans.

Following the legislation veto, senator Claudia Gasponi, who co-authored the resolution, requested to override the veto during the April 22 meeting. She said in her argument that Gov. Abbott’s claim to defund Texas State was an empty threat.

“Administration is on the wrong side of this argument,” Gasponi said. “As long as we have white supremacy on campus, then we need resources to combat it.”

The student senators voted on whether to uphold the veto at the meeting, which did not pass. TPUSA will remain on campus and the Student and Faculty Safety Resolution of 2019 will not be seen by administration.

Isabel Gonzalez, history junior, went to the TPUSA meeting to support other conservative students and voice her concerns for the partisan divide on campus.

“In reality, no one believes the exact same thing as everyone else and that’s okay, because that’s how we get the government we have,”Gonzalez said. “You have to have difference of opinions.”

Due to the discussion regarding student government trying to suppress First amendment rights of conservative groups on campus, white supremacist group Texas Nomads SAR has organized a march May 1 on Texas State’s campus.

At the April 15 TPUSA meeting, President Stormi Rodriguez reinforced her support for the organization and its resilience in the past weeks of scrutiny.

“When you stand your ground and have the U.S. Constitution on your side, you will win,” said Rodriguez.

TPUSA members frequently set up a table at the base of the stallion statue on campus with signs reading “Socialism Sucks,” “I’m Pro choice. Pick your gun,” and “Big government sucks.” To find out more information or how to get involved, visit its website or speak to members in The Quad.