Oklahoma: In a big win for conservative students, the University of Oklahoma declared that its Student Government Association cannot unconstitutionally discriminate against members of Turning Point USA or other conservatives on campus. In response to SLF’s letter last week, the University admitted that SGA lacks authority to pass unconstitutional resolutions. If SGA tries to do so, the resolutions will be vetoed by the University President.
“Although the actions of SGA members over the course of this semester have been disappointing, we are pleased to know that the University community understands the importance of free and open discourse and will do everything in its power to protect it,” SLF writes in a follow-up letter to the school. In the letter, SLF also commends the University for taking reports of spitting, assault, and abusive conduct seriously by encouraging students to report attacks.
“This is a huge step in the right direction at OU,” SLF general counsel Kimberly Hermann states. “SGA is being held accountable for its intimidating behavior against conservatives.”
Ironically, the University administration now serves as a mediator between conservative groups like TPUSA and student government—when it should be the other way around.
“It is an odd twist of events,” Hermann notes. “University administrators are often the worst offenders when it comes to violating students’ First Amendment rights. But at OU, conservatives find themselves relying on administrators for support and protection, instead of their own student government. We are hopeful this is a sign that the tides are changing on college campuses.”