UPDATE 7/20/20 1:30 PM: Within 30 minutes of publication, UNT College Democrats issued the following reply to our press inquiry:
“UNT College Democrats condemns any threats made against YCT or their Chairwoman Kelly Neidert. No threats of violence have ever been sanctioned by UNT College Democrats. We emphatically stand against hate and harassment.”
They continued to label YCT at UNT’s actions as “racist, homophobic, and transphobic.” UNT Democrats didn’t respond to our inquiry regarding what they will do to ensure the safety of all students exercising their freedom of speech on campus. Instead, they asked YCT at UNT what they will do on that front, and they asked YCT and UNT to accept and condemn their actions as “racist, homophobic, and transphobic.”
The Democrats’ original press release that didn’t condemn threats of violence against YCT at UNT and Neidert is still on Twitter.
In a recent press release, Democrats at the University of North Texas (UNT) refused to condemn threats of violence leveled against conservative students, and instead announced a new strategy to silence these conservatives. This follows the College Democrat’s push to ban Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) from campus and a new biased article from the campus’ taxpayer-funded newspaper, favoring the Democrats’ position.
Recently, a coalition of extreme-left student organizations at UNT, led by UNT College Democrats, started a petition to ban YCT at UNT.
This coalition alleges YCT at UNT has “a pattern of racism, transphobia, and homophobia throughout the 2019 through 2020 school year.” One of these allegations caught the attention of UNT President Neal Smatresk, who said, “We are looking into this.”
“We are not a perfect organization, but it is clear that some students just want us disbanded because we are conservatives. We are not going to bow down to the leftist mob that is filled with [vitriol] and hate.”
Over the past few weeks, YCT at UNT has been threatened with violence and doxxing (attempts to publish private and identifying information on the internet). They also faced hexing from a witch, and they claim to have been hacked.
These actions, along with Smatresk’s tweet, have garnered nationwide concern about free speech at UNT. State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park) announced he would gladly represent them if they are banned.
Saturday morning, the UNT College Democrats published a press release where they condemned the attempt to doxx members of YCT at UNT, but the group did not condemn the other threats leveled at the conservative student organization.
YCT at UNT Chairwoman Kelly Neidert told Texas Scorecard the release was “definitely not satisfactory.”
“They should have condemned the actual threats of violence and overall harassment, not to mention the witches,” she said.
Mentioning “recent interactions with the UNT administration,” the College Democrats admitted their ban petition has failed. But they are not backing down, adding YCT won’t be banned “unless UNT is liable for the group’s actions”—actions UNT Democrats have labeled as “bigoted” and “hate speech.”
They have since announced a new strategy. Labeling YCT at UNT as a “right-wing hate group,” the Democrats plan to raise the volume of those they claim are the “most vulnerable to right-wing hate groups such as YCT.” UNT Democrats hope this strategy “virtually silences” the conservative student organization, and their new approach appears to already be underway.
On July 16, two days earlier, North Texas Daily—UNT’s taxpayer-funded student newspaper—published a biased article about the petition to ban YCT at UNT. Nowhere in the article did it mention the threats of violence leveled at YCT or Neidert, and it frames the extreme-left coalition as the victims.
In the article, one coalition member said:
“I believe that YCT should be removed from campus because I’m a queer person that goes to a minority-serving university,” GLAD President Ryan Semegran said. “There are students that specifically go to UNT because they’re branded as a liberal college that takes everybody and accepts everybody.”
Leftist organizations like GLAD use sexual identity as a Trojan horse to push leftist political agendas such as silencing freedom of speech.
Texas Scorecard sent an inquiry to Smatresk, asking if this article was sanctioned by UNT and if it is indicative of moves coming against YCT from the university. No response was received by publication time, and Smatresk has issued no new statement on this.
In a clear attempt to isolate YCT at UNT, the coalition is also pushing for other student organizations on campus to have a “no-contact order” with the conservative student organization.
Inquiries sent to the UNT Democrats were not replied to by publication time.
Texas Senate Bill 18, also called the “campus free speech bill,” became state law last September and prohibits UNT from banning YCT on campus.