After what was often emotionally charged, speeches and discussion, the College Republicans of St. Cloud State University (SCSU) agreed to take down the infamous “wall” that led to protests and anxiety from St. Cloud State students.
During the weekly student government meeting Thursday, Feb. 1, multiple students voiced their concerns about the “wall” after a flyer that was posted around Atwood asking students to come to the meeting if the College Republicans “wall” that was displayed in Atwood made them uncomfortable.
“Hatred has infiltrated St. Cloud State,” said Matt Hubert, a student at SCSU, speaking during the open forum.
Hubert also voiced frustration about perceived inaction by the student government and the school administration, a common theme Thursday night.
“The worst part is that we allow it to happen. That is the worst part. The institution allows it to happen. Student government allows it to happen. The people allow it to happen,” said Hubert.
Hubert also said he had resigned from a position in student government due to the inaction of student government regarding the “wall.”
Kayla Shelley, also a student and former student government member who resigned recently, had some choice words for the SCSU administration and their treatment of students.
“I sat in rooms with administration where I was dismissed as a student,” said Shelley. “They care about our dollars and they care about putting our diverse faces on posters and then they don’t give a crap when we’re threatened,” she added.
The “wall” was a recruiting tool used by the College Republicans during Sidestreet, an event for student and student groups to get to know one another.
The “wall” featured blocks designed by students which featured words and artwork including, “List all the existing genders” while showing only male and female options, as well as a hotly contested cartoon that featured the words “autistic screeching.”
This last block was specifically singled out by many students as something that particularly offended them, to which the now former president of the College Republicans, Mathias Eike, responded that the “wall” is a free speech issue and specifically defended the block making fun of autism.
“I don’t like to play this game but my brother personally has Tourette’s syndrome and the best way for him to deal with is to make fun of it with his friends,” said Eike.
Eike later left the forum and the remaining College Republicans apologized to the crowd and attempted to placate them by saying that some of the blocks were offensive and they would take some down.
Later, after much back and forth, the College Republicans, along with members of the student government and other students took down the “wall” from its display case.
This prompted Eike to announce on Facebook that he was resigning from his position of president for the College Republicans. “Congratulations everyone, you finally got your way because you were loud, obnoxious, whiney c*nts. I’m resigning as president of the College Republicans because I want nothing to do with an organization that doesn’t protect free speech and expression on campus,” wrote Eike.
The Facebook post was accompanied by a cartoon of a person crying and wearing a hat that reads “Please be patient I have autism.”