After a recent article in The Pine Log quoted some conservative students saying they feel ignored on campus, the College Democrats felt they themselves were under fire due to some of the claims made in the article. Conservative students in the article claimed that any conservative awareness programs were shut down due to the SFA College Democrats’ influence and that an English professor had been prejudiced toward a student due to their political beliefs.
“There are ways to break through the barrier and be bold enough and strategic enough to organize around your beliefs to where it is not offensive, to where it is respectful and to where it is effective,” Gabrielle Harris, junior political science major from Houston and president emeritus of SFA College Democrats, said.
“And to where you can create a movement that people want to join. If you aren’t creating a movement that people want to join, then there is really no point. You’re just making noise.”
The conservative student claimed that the College Democrats were responsible for negative comments made when the College Republicans had a pro-life booth, but the SFA College Democrats president said this was not a result of the club. Members hold that any anti-conservative actions on campus were not directed from the club, and that these problems are not stemming from the Democratic organization.
“You can deface our flyers all you want, you can say what you want, but our actions speak for themselves,” said Larissa Charles, sophomore environmental science major from Houston and president of the College Dems. “We aren’t going around defacing their flyers. We’re not going around harassing them at tables. They talked about how if someone has a MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat on, we are going around and harassing them.
“If I see someone with a MAGA hat, I’m ignoring them. We aren’t going around and doing that to them.” When the
article circulated, the College Democrats took to Twitter to release a statement and state their side of the story. They talked about how the ‘Beto’ sticker on a member’s car was covered with a Trump Sticker and signs for the organization’s Planned Parenthood event being vandalized.
However, even with these acts, the College Democrats don’t believe that it is something that the Republicans are at fault for. Furthermore, they believe the aggressive push back from other conservatives on campus to College Democrats is something the Republicans are not responsible for.
“People focus too much on labels,” Josh Mannin, sophomore sound recording technology major from Kingwood, said. “It is always labeling someone ‘Oh, you’re liberal. You’re conservative. You’re straight. You’re gay.’ I think people should put their differences aside and actually work together.”
The organization believes that the only way to have an equal balance on campus is for the College Republicans to be able to organize their events better and for them to no longer blame College Democrats for the backlash on campus.
The College Democrats also don’t want people to think that they promote hate speech around campus and that they are just on campus to help raise awareness for their events and help students register to vote.