The CSUN Republicans group on campus is in the process of being approved as an official club as a result of students feeling that the university needs more points of view.
Spencer Ceurvorst, vice president of the aspiring club, said the club would be a branch of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC), which was founded in 1892. As of now, there are over 250,000 Republican students around the country on over 1,800 college campuses, according to Ceurvorst.
“College Republicans is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active youth political organization,” Ceurvorst said. “We stand up for all Americans and believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Students decided to bring the club to CSUN in order to have a space to socialize and work together. Some Republican students feel there is a lack of diversity of thought on campus.
According to Ceurvorst, the ultimate goal of the club is to bring a different point of view to students. They also believe having debates are what move society forward.
“We also hope to be a home for all students who believe in the Constitution, personal and economic freedom and in basic conservative, Republican, and libertarian values,” Ceurvorst said.
CSUN Republican member Loren Ullman said the group started as a group message on Facebook. People were adding their friends and the group grew so much that they realized they would be able to start a club and a private Facebook page.
Additionally, she said other students on campus have a negative stereotype of the party. She also said some students have mocked and disrespected her because of her political partisanship.
“Going to a liberal university to many Republican students can be suffocating, for lack of a better word, because one might feel as if all their ideas, up to this point, were misguided,” Ullman said.
Not only does Ullman feel mistreated by students because of her views, she also said professors have expressed negative connotations toward the Republican party with the election of President Trump.
“I’ve had professors cancel class after the election results were announced and even had professors dedicate a whole class to mourn the elections,” Ullman said.
CSUN political science professor Kassem Nabulsi said professors need to be careful not to inject their ideas into the classroom. Though students can have spirited debates relevant to the subject matter being taught, a professor cannot express a preference for either side.
Nabusli said the CSUN Republicans club will be a safe haven for students who share the same fears and anxieties, but also the same aspirations.
According to Nabulsi, professors should give students the tools and skills to be able to know how to think, but not what to think. He explained that debates are not about people, but about issues and policies. In the classroom, students should be encouraged to respond to each other in a non-hostile environment.
“One element I teach in the class is, I tell the students, once the person utters a sentence, no matter how appalling that sentence is, and is floating around the room, you chase the statement and you forget and ignore the existence of the person,” Nabulsi said. “You chase the statement in order to find out if it is accurate or how you can contest that argument.”
To join the CSUN Republicans group, message them on Facebook.