The College Republican Club at Oregon State University is one of several organizations filing suit against their student body president following his posting of critical postings.
Last week, the student government president of Oregon State University (OSU) Adam Moulton wrote a public Facebook post that said an upcoming joint convocation of the campus African-American Student Association and LGBTQ Student Association would provide an opportunity for progress to be made, saying the university should be taking a proactive role in education and including difficult conversations in class, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In the post, Moulton compared the two student groups, saying they were similar for both advancing their goals and then asking why they were not in common space.
As expected, the post was immediately condemned.
“Such remarks are contrary to the standards we seek for students who seek to serve their community,” said OSU’s assistant vice president and general counsel to students, Mike Calefati. “Those student leaders will no longer represent the university as senators.”
Moulton issued a response:
It was intended to be an open, inclusive and productive convocation so that we can all move forward from this moment. It was also intended to show that we need to be aware of how to move forward and not presume we know better than people from different backgrounds and in different stages of life. Please forgive my lack of consideration for all who are directly impacted by my words as they were posted during a time that I should have been focusing on student funding. In order to move forward, I felt compelled to speak about some of the steps needed to bridge these divides; however, it was an unintentional move that unfortunately has caused much damage. As I have discussed, I deeply regret my words and I apologize to everyone whom I have hurt, including the LGBTQIA+ community and all who are impacted by these differences. I feel most human when I am speaking with my heart. I did so tonight, and I will continue to do so. For all of you in college now, I want you to know it is never acceptable to make hurtful remarks of any kind. It will always have consequences. I take full responsibility for my actions as I have seen the frustration and angst my post has caused. If we are going to be in a community that looks like ourselves, it is essential we maintain an inclusive attitude toward those from other backgrounds and faiths. Those of us in power have a responsibility to remain mindful of their experiences and their unique perspective. College is a unique time in our lives as we begin to define who we are and whom we want to be. I hope this incident will help us to better understand each other as we chart a path to a better future for all of us.
The College Republican Club took legal action yesterday, alleging that Moulton “violated the policies of the OSU Senate” by “characterizing these groups as similar” and arguing “no due process was followed by a student appointed to his position.”
The club’s lawsuit, which is being pursued with student leaders from Leadership Southeast, called the ruling a “favor for the community.”