On June 24, the College Republicans at Cal Poly Pomona club received backlash due to several distasteful posts and comments on its Instagram page regarding immigration issues, political jokes, and its support of the federal government agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The posts consisted of several memes including one that read, “I like my borders like I like my sodas, with ICE.”
This is a tasteless joke. It is insensitive to post such things while, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ICE has been accused of detaining people under inhumane conditions and refusing to provide proper medical care to detainees, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is as though the admin responsible for the posts was willingly mocking supporters of undocumented immigrants.
However, while I do not agree with any of the club’s actions or statements, the club itself should not face any severe disciplinary consequences. Instead, the individuals responsible for the posts should be held accountable for their actions.
Students shared their thoughts on the matter and condemned the organization by posting a series of heated comments through the @cppconfessions Instagram page.
The organization quickly made its account private following the backlash.
According to the club’s bylaws, it promises that members may face consequences such as removal from the group if the member is believed to be found guilty of violating Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Conduct Codes.
“Grounds for removal and/or suspension of an organization member(s) are appropriate if and only if student behavior is not consistent with the California Polytechnic University of Pomona student conduct and discipline code.”
The club’s bylaws also pledge not to discriminate against anyone, they read: “The College Republicans at Cal Poly Pomona shall not be discriminatory in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, color, age, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, gender, physical or mental ability, marital status, financial or social status.”
Cal Poly Pomona considers harassment, threats and intimidation as violations of the student conduct codes, these posts could be characterized under intimidation as the person responsible willingly created a hostile environment by mocking undocumented immigrants and those with differing political views. It is one thing to post content that demonstrates their political views, and a completely different thing to deliberately mock other CPP students for simply having opposing standpoints.
An investigation should be conducted to find who is responsible for the distasteful posts and comments. That person should face repercussions for their actions as they purposely posted insensitive content, knowing it would create controversy and discomfort among other students.