San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

What’s next for San Diego State’s controversial College Republicans leader?

Two weeks from graduation, The Daily Aztec sits down with Brandon Jones for a final debriefing
Kelly Smiley
Brandon Jones, now-former president of SDSU College Republicans, near the Education and Business Administration building on April 23.

You’re arguably the most prominent College Republican right now. What’s it like being in the news so much?

I would say it’s interesting. You know, when I got elected as College Republicans president, I mean, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. And things just started coming our way. You know, with the associate dean of the library calling Republicans terrorists, I didn’t know what to do with it. It just kind of happened and things started rolling. But it’s good, I think that my job was to give us a voice on campus and I think that I probably went above and beyond that.

So that wasn’t even intentional?

No, I mean, like, the press releases and stuff like that… we were just really trying to have a voice on campus and it snowballed because of the climate of the universities in our country today. And places like Fox News and stuff like that, they eat it up.

What would you say that climate is on our campus?

There’s a definite liberal bias. I don’t know if…I think it would be hard-pressed for anybody to deny that universities lean to the left. If they don’t think so, I’d like to have a conversation with them and think it would be better for both of us. But I mean, we’ve had plenty of examples at San Diego State, just at San Diego State, that I’ve dealt with, that— I mean, it’s clear liberal bias in the form of what they’re teaching, how they’re teaching it, how they’re using the classroom as kind of a platform for their agenda. Stuff like that.

What have been some of your favorite moments from this year?

Some of my favorite moments…I mean, definitely going on Fox News. I’m not gonna be, like, naive in the fact that that was a very awesome experience. It’s something I never thought I would be able to do. And it’s scary going on live TV and talking in front of 2, 2-and-a-half million people at six o’clock in the morning, that’s definitely a different experience. But besides that, just, I mean, it is fun going toe-to-toe, I think, with these liberal professors on campus, because they don’t know how to respond. They just go straight into their talking points or to calling us racist or whatever. And that’s not to say that there aren’t good professors. I’ve had great professors at SDSU in the political science department. Mikhail Alexeev, for example, international theory professor — awesome guy. Ex-communist, turned like, American patriot, grew up in the Ukraine, awesome story, awesome guy. And then there’s professors that are not so great, unfortunately. But everybody has a place in this world and everybody has a place on campus, and so it’s their right to be on the left just as much as it’s mine to be on the right.

Have you gotten into any arguments with professors over politics?

In the classroom, I try not to go there. I’ll go to office hours if I want to discuss something. The only notable one that I could think of is probably Emanuele Saccarelli. I tried to question him a little bit on the Marxist theories early on in the Marxism course that I’m taking. But nothing that’s ever in my opinion gotten unprofessional. It’s always been — I mean, I would like to think — I have great respect for Saccharelli, as a person, and I hope he would say the same about me, although we’re on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum. But yeah, definitely nothing that’s ever gotten unprofessional.

What would you say you’ve learned over the past year?

I mean, the biggest thing, obviously, is leadership. You’re leading a group of students who didn’t necessarily have a direction, from what I saw in previous years. And all of a sudden, I mean, just by default and by really putting your words into actions, I became their leader. I was their go-to guy as well when something happened on campus, they were coming to me asking for advice. And besides that, I mean, I’m a political science major, I work in politics in San Diego. This is kind of like my comfort zone, politics. So I would say leadership is probably the biggest thing.

You’re graduating this year. What’s next for you?

So right now, I’m working on a congressional campaign here in San Diego. Omar Qudrat for United States Congress. He’s running in the 52nd district against Scott Peters, and he is a Muslim. He’s the first Muslim Republican to get endorsed by the San Diego County Republican Party, so despite the letters that I may have written to groups in the past, he is a Muslim Republican. And then I’m also running a state assembly campaign up in the 76th assembly district.

So your immediate future is just the midterms?

Yeah, we’ll see what happens after June 5. I could be unemployed after June 5. If that happens then I’ll probably be going up to Oregon or Minnesota. I have a couple job offers up there on some campaigns, so we’ll see.

Any last words for the university and administrators?

Uh, no I’m not gonna go there, but I just think that some of the professors and some of the administrators are going to be happy that I will be getting my degree and moving on.

Interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

About the Contributors
Will Fritz
Will Fritz, Editor in Chief
Will Fritz is the editor in chief of The Daily Aztec for the 2018-19 academic year. A fourth-year journalism major, he's a weekend breaking news reporter for City News Service, an editorial intern at Voice of San Diego and president of SDSU's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Follow him on Twitter at @fritzed_, and contact him directly at (619) 594-4190 or
Kelly Smiley
Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor
Activate Search
San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
What’s next for San Diego State’s controversial College Republicans leader?