Exclusive: SGA Responds to UACR Email Leak
The University of Alabama College Republicans (UACR) are demanding an apology from UA's Student Government Association (SGA) after the organization allegedly mandated that select students attend a diversity lecture during SGA's diversity campaign titled "One UA."
According to an Instagram post published by the group last week, UACR leaked an email which states that some students were forced to attend a lecture from Jane Elliott, a world-renowned author and educator who is known for her "Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes" experiment.
During the lecture, Elliott shared her political viewpoint which included comparing "the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler and the US to Nazi Germany," according to UACR.
"While we acknowledge students may have agreed or disagreed with Elliott's comments, the goal of OneUA campaign is to promote campus unity in spite of the differences we undoubtedly embody," SGA released in a statement last week.
In the days since the lecture, some UA students took to social media to express their disapproval of Elliott and SGA for sponsoring the event.
UA freshman CJ Pearson, president of the Free Thinker Project, posted a clip of Elliott's speech on Twitter where she claims that President Trump has admitted to being "racist, sexist, homophobic and ethnocentrist."
SGA press secretary Jackson Fuentes told The Tuscaloosa Thread in an exclusive interview that the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) certification program was not mandatory for all students and only select SGA members were asked to partake in the program.
“Even though SGA did not recruit or pay for Elliott’s speaking services, when we learned about her scheduled appearance, we expected her to speak about the ‘Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes’ experiment, unifying our campus under diversity and equity,” Fuentes said.
Over the past few years, UA's College Republicans organization has either sponsored or supported on-campus lectures from noted controversial conservatives Milo Yiannopoulous in 2016 and Ben Shapiro in 2019, both of which saw great backlash.
Despite the Elliott lecture, Fuentes said the SGA hopes that students and organizations will choose to become DEI-certified over the next few months.
"We feel that the program is an optimal space for campus to unify around the common ideals of equity and inclusion going forward, as we develop programming for DEI certification," Fuentes said. "We look forward to continuing to seek input from a variety of students and organizations representing a diverse mix of backgrounds and ideologies, and we commend the student bodies civic engagement."