The College Republicans at Butler University (CR) has been cleared of wrongdoing in a controversial Title IX investigation that began over two months ago after CR was accused of “hate speech” by members of Students for Justice in Palestine at Butler University (SJP).
The accusations of “hate speech” stemmed from a statement released by CR on their Instagram, which condemned the SJP, claiming that statements the group released in relation to the ongoing Israeli-Hamas conflict and chants they performed during a protest on Monument Circle were an attempt to justify “the cold-blooded attacks by an internationally-designated terrorist organization on innocent civilians trying to live peaceful lives.”
Rep. Jim Banks
Last month, the investigation caught the attention of Representative Jim Banks, who sent a letter to Butler University criticizing it.
“Before any conclusion or resolution had been made, Azure Swinford, Butler’s associate director for institutional equity and Title IX coordinator, demanded College Republicans remove their post condemning the chants,” the letter said. “Shortly thereafter, your administration launched an investigation into its College Republicans chapter, claiming the group had ‘falsely accused’ SJP of antisemitism and ‘incited violence’ against Muslim students on campus.”
Banks also worried that the investigation would produce a “chilling effect” on student free speech.
The editorial board of The Collegiate Commons also released an editorial on the investigation, emphasizing the same topic, which can be found here.
The College Republicans
Sophomore Brendan Byce inherited leadership of CR in the midst of the investigation, after the previous president graduated in December. Chilling effect or not, he made it clear in an email with The Collegiate Commons that CR did not intend to let the investigation scare them from exercising their right to free speech.
“The Butler College Republicans are glad that this case is behind us and are eager to continue expanding our club at Butler for young conservatives to have a voice,” he said.
Featured image taken from the College Republicans at Butler University instagram, and shows CR standing with the Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen.