SDSU College Republicans stand up for their values

SDSU+College+Republicans+President+Brandon+Jones+speaks+on+Fox+and+Friends+in+September.+Jones+wrote+for+Campus+Reform+about+a+course+on+President+Donald+Trump%27s+impeachment+offered+by+SDSU%27s+College+of+Extended+Studies.+The+course+has+since+been+renamed+to+remove+Trump%27s+name.+File+photo
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SDSU College Republicans stand up for their values

SDSU College Republicans President Brandon Jones speaks on Fox and Friends in September. Jones wrote for Campus Reform about a course on President Donald Trump's impeachment offered by SDSU's College of Extended Studies. The course has since been renamed to remove Trump's name. File photo

SDSU College Republicans President Brandon Jones speaks on Fox and Friends in September. Jones wrote for Campus Reform about a course on President Donald Trump's impeachment offered by SDSU's College of Extended Studies. The course has since been renamed to remove Trump's name. File photo

SDSU College Republicans President Brandon Jones speaks on Fox and Friends in September. Jones wrote for Campus Reform about a course on President Donald Trump's impeachment offered by SDSU's College of Extended Studies. The course has since been renamed to remove Trump's name. File photo

SDSU College Republicans President Brandon Jones speaks on Fox and Friends in September. Jones wrote for Campus Reform about a course on President Donald Trump's impeachment offered by SDSU's College of Extended Studies. The course has since been renamed to remove Trump's name. File photo

by Will Fritz, News Editor

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The San Diego State College Republicans are doing their best to make SDSU a more inclusive environment for conservative students, members say.

After a brutal presidential campaign and election, they say the political climate is more unwelcoming than ever.

College Republicans member and political science junior Madison Marks-Noble said she thinks conservatives are more reluctant to share their views after the election of President Donald Trump because of the ideologies associated with him.

“The polarization as a result of the election has definitely made people be more gun-shy as far as telling their beliefs because a lot of people associate Donald Trump with the very far right,” Marks-Noble said.

In reality, she said, Republicans represent a much more diverse swath of ideologies.

On campus, members say they feel even more singled out, citing separate incidents over the summer in which an SDSU administrator and professor both made controversial statements online that College Republicans found problematic.

“People are increasingly hostile toward conservatives and even people that are center-right, and it’s made it definitely more difficult to openly discuss our political views and stuff in a classroom setting,” said College Republicans member and social science junior Ryan Orozco.

Brandon Jones, SDSU College Republicans president, said he believes part of the problem is that some people feel victimized by President Trump and his administration.

But the backlash Republicans are getting is all the more reason for conservative students to stand up for what they believe in, Jones said.

Members say they want their organization to be more outspoken.

“We’re shedding light on some issues that our past leaders have not been willing to shed light on,” Jones said.

Marks-Noble agreed with that sentiment.

“Our organization in the past has been kind of silent,” she said. “And we’d rather make our views crystal clear to everyone.”

Though the College Republicans have been considered controversial in the past, organization member and social science sophomore Skyler Shibuya said he doesn’t see the club that way.

“I don’t really see it as controversial just because people don’t like what we say,” Shibuya said. “We’re not going to be scared into not saying them just because some people disagree with us.”

It’s already been a big year for the College Republicans. And they’re just getting started.

Jones has been in national news three times since June ­- twice for responses to the incidents with university employees, and once for a letter the organization addressed to the Muslim Student Association asking for a condemnation of last month’s terrorist attacks in Barcelona.

After the latter incident, Jones said he received threats. The SDSU Young Democratic Socialists’ Twitter account also referred to the College Republicans as “white nationalists.”

Jones said his organization is in talks to bring Milo Yiannopoulos, a former senior editor of Breitbart, to campus sometime this year.

Violent protests broke out at UC Berkeley when Yiannopoulos spoke at that university earlier this year.

“Our intent is not to turn San Diego State into a UC Berkeley, or a war zone as I’ve been accused of before,” Jones said. “We’re not looking to do this as a controversy, we’re doing this in an effort to bring conservative ideas to students on campus.”

“We definitely want people to hear him speak,” Orozco said. “The event is open to everyone who’s going to be respectful.”

Jones said the organization is also planning to bring other conservative speakers onto campus, and is in the process of organizing a round-table forum with other political organizations at SDSU.

This story is featured as part of our Student Involvement Special Issue.

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