Turning Point USA to receive RSO status after student Supreme Court decision

Turning+Point+USA+to+receive+RSO+status+after+student+Supreme+Court+decision

Turning Point USA will now be formally recognized after the SGA Supreme Court unanimously voted to overturn the senate’s decision that rejected the group registered student organization status. The court ruled the senate’s previous decision as unconstitutional.

The bill was first brought to the senate in early October, and was initially tabled before receiving the vote on Oct. 20. The motion to recognize the organization failed with 14 in favor, 21 against and four abstentions.

Senators voiced many concerns with the right-wing organization, mainly surrounding campus safety and the possibility of the organization promoting hate speech.

“All of us should be worried about the safety of our constituents,” Senator Victoria Owens said at the Oct. 20 meeting. “It should absolutely be a priority that all students feel safe, and I do understand that promoting groups to have a voice is incredibly important, however you can not have a voice if you are unsafe.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote a letter to the student government on Oct. 19, urging the senate to approve recognition to the TPUSA chapter.

“As a public university bound by The First Amendment, WSU and its student government may not deny recognition to a student group based on its views or speech,” the letter reads. “Because this TPUSA chapter satisfies the SGA’s criteria for recognition, the Senate’s denial of recognition would violate the group’s well-established rights under the first amendment.”

This is not the first time a controversial student senate decision regarding an RSO was overruled by the Supreme Court. In spring of 2017, SGA denied recognition to Young Americans for Liberty, citing that the free speech group promoted hate speech. In response, FIRE wrote a letter to then-President John Bardo asking to reverse the decision. The Student Supreme Court ultimately overturned the senate’s decision and the group received RSO status.

Correction: a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that there were eight abstentions when there were actually four. This version has been updated to reflect the correct number.