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Wells College Shuts Down College Republicans By: Kristy Lee Hochenberger
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, December 10, 2003

One month to the day after the Republican club at Wells College (an all-women’s college located in Aurora, NY) published a study revealing a grossly disproportionate number of left-wing professors on its faculty, the student government denied recognition to the club as an official campus organization.

On November 7th, the Wells Republicans issued a press release describing the study they had conducted of the political party registrations of the members of the social sciences and humanities faculties at the college. The study revealed that members of parties of the Left (Democrats, Greens, Working Families) outnumbered Republicans by a ratio of 92 percent to 8 percent.

A Wells professor responded to the study calling Republicans "stupid" and calling for Republicans to be forcibly lobotomized. FrontPage Magazine promptly picked up this story.

The study and the college’s reaction to it were the subject of public affairs television shows in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.

At a meeting of the Wells student government (known as "Collegiate") held on December 7, the Wells Republicans sought recognition as an official campus club. They garnered only 9 ‘yes’ votes from the student government, with 7 voting ‘no’ and 11 abstaining.

As a result of the vote, the club will not be granted a budget for its activities, although it can "grieve" support for specific events. Other clubs receive budgets of as much as thousands of dollars annually for their activities.

Said Wells Republican Chairwoman Kristy Lee Hochenberger, a junior from Syracuse, New York, "It’s hard to view this vote as anything other than retribution for the unpopular political views we espouse.

"If this vote had been on the merits, there is no question we would have been granted recognition. Our club has been perhaps the most active of any on campus. Beyond bringing speakers to campus and organizing other events, our faculty diversity study attracted national and local attention and was the focus of two separate television shows."

Said Wells Republican Treasurer Colleen Curry, a sophomore from Warren, Maine: "There seems to be a pattern emerging. Wells speaks often and loudly of its devotion to diversity. But when it comes to hiring faculty, somehow there is a glaring absence of conservatives. And when the few conservative students on campus want to organize themselves into a club, they are denied recognition."

Hochenberger added, "We will seek to appeal this decision if possible, and bring it to the attention of the college’s administration, including Wells College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson. But sadly, we members of the Republican club, and other students sympathetic to our cause, are coming to the conclusion that Wells College’s culture is hostile to traditional students."

Kristy Lee Hochenberger is Chair of the Wells College Republicans.

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