SDSU associate dean calls Republican party “terrorist” group

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SDSU associate dean calls Republican party “terrorist” group

A student tables for the College Republican National Committee in 2011

A student tables for the College Republican National Committee in 2011

A student tables for the College Republican National Committee in 2011

A student tables for the College Republican National Committee in 2011

by Will Fritz, News Editor

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A San Diego State associate dean is drawing backlash from the SDSU College Republicans because of a comment he made on a political article shared by a Facebook friend of his.

“The Republican Party has become an extremist terrorist organization,” Associate Dean of Library and Information Access Patrick McCarthy said in a comment on a Newsweek article, according to screenshots obtained by conservative-leaning college news site Campus Reform.

Brandon Jones, president of the SDSU College Republicans, said he strongly condemns McCarthy’s statement.

“I think it was inappropriate for somebody that’s of his caliber to say something like that without any facts,” Jones said. “I think it’s totally out of context. I’m not opposed to different political views by any means. But for him to go to an extreme like that definitely does not help the environment on campus with the liberal bias.”

SDSU spokesperson Gina Jacobs released the following statement in response to McCarthy’s comments:

“The views and opinions expressed by faculty and staff on their personal accounts are protected by the First Amendment and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the university.”

Jones said he is not satisfied with university’s comment on the matter.

“They said that the associate dean’s views don’t necessarily reflect the views and values of the university, which I think was a poor word choice on their part,” he said. “I think it could lead to some different interpretations. But if they’re going to protect his free speech then I feel like they need to a better job of protecting conservative students’ free speech.”

Jones said contrary to some reports, the College Republicans are not asking McCarthy to resign, though they are planning to reach out to him and ask for an apology.

“It is free speech, but with free speech comes consequences,  on both sides of the political spectrum,” Jones said. “Free speech is protected but you can’t say whatever you want.”

If McCarthy will not apologize and instead stands by his statement, Jones said his organization will ask to debate him in a public forum.

McCarthy failed to respond to repeated requests for comment from The Daily Aztec.

Jones said he was alerted to McCarthy’s comments by a University of Pittsburgh student and Campus Reform writer who happened to have a mutual friend with McCarthy and saw the comment.

It’s far from the first time Jones has seen an anti-Republican bias from SDSU faculty, although he was surprised to see it freely expressed by an associate dean.

“The attitude and the environment at SDSU doesn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “It’s pretty common for Republicans to be portrayed as that on campus, both by faculty and students.”

He said professors have, at times, been hostile to his opinions. In one instance, a professor made a comment to him that he said led to other students feeling encouraged to start attacking him.

Jones’ response, he said, was to calmly approach her after class about the matter.

“I said, ‘Hey, you know what, I think that there’s a little bit of bias here,’” Jones said. “And she looked me right in the eyes and said that I asked for this discrimination on the first day of class when I wore my ‘Make America Great Again’ hat.”

“I wouldn’t want a conservative professor, if they even exist on this campus, to shut down somebody’s viewpoints if they were wearing an Obama or a Bernie T-shirt,” he said.

To Jones, there is a clear and distinct difference between the way liberal and conservative opinions are treated at SDSU.

“I hope that it comes to an end soon,” he said. But it just kind of seems to be the political environment that’s happening across the country.”

This story was updated at 9 pm on June 10 to reflect an updated version of SDSU’s official statement from spokesperson Gina Jacobs.

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