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The logo for the American Indi­vid­u­alist club. Quinn Reichard | Courtesy

 

Student Fed­er­ation voted to disband a club for the first time in more than four years at its Oct. 5 meeting.

The fed­er­ation members said they unan­i­mously agreed to dis­solve the American Indi­vid­u­alists of Hillsdale because they felt the group vio­lated the mission of Hillsdale College. As a result, the group is inel­i­gible to post flyers on campus or receive funds from Student Fed.

“Its aims are expressly con­trary to those of Hillsdale College,” said senior Thomas Ryskamp, head of the federation’s club over­sight com­mittee. “The college’s aim is to pursue truth, while this orga­ni­zation seeks to provoke dis­cussion purely for discussion’s sake. They reject what every campus club shares: account­ability to an end goal.”

Club leaders, however, said they plan to appeal for rein­statement.

“It’s sup­posed to provide a forum for people to discuss things: That’s the point of free speech,” American Indi­vid­u­alists Pres­ident junior Quinn Reichard said.

The American Indi­vid­u­alists club was pre­vi­ously on pro­ba­tionary status as part of a new process for approving clubs. Although offi­cially rec­og­nized as a campus club in Feb­ruary, it was not eli­gible to receive funding until fully approved. The fed­er­ation could have approved the club fully on Thursday but instead voted to disband it.

“I saw it poten­tially as a vehicle to be taken over by people who could hurt the college in the future and as a group which could host absurd dis­cus­sions under the guise of having no official platform, which would also have the potential to cause issues,” said sophomore Matthew Mont­gomery, a member of the club over­sight com­mittee.

Until last week, the club met weekly to discuss and debate current events and issues. Its leaders said the point of its meetings are to leave people with more ques­tions than before, as they discuss political phi­losophy and inves­tigate assump­tions, including the exis­tence of truth.

Reichard, who started American Indi­vid­u­alists at his high school in Vir­ginia and formed a second chapter at Hillsdale, said during the Student Fed meeting that the club lacks a platform like other political clubs on campus, and that he was not certain the group’s purpose was to seek truth.

Later, however, Reichard said in hind­sight, he would have defended his club before the fed­er­ation dif­fer­ently.

“I probably shouldn’t have said what I said in front of the Student Fed­er­ation,” Reichard told The Col­legian. “What we do in our meetings would we be described by anyone who believes in truth as pur­suing truth.”

In fact, the group’s bylaws said its purpose is to do just that.

“American Indi­vid­u­alists of Hillsdale exists to seek truth, ask why, and act on what is right,” the bylaws read. “In an effort to advance the cause of liberty, we provide stu­dents a venue to discuss political ideas in addition to coor­di­nating activism oppor­tu­nities for our mem­bership.”

Reichard said he will be better able to explain what American Indi­vid­u­alists do in its meetings in the future.

“I think the best way to accom­plish our mission is to have as many diverse opinions as pos­sible,” he said. “And I have found that ques­tioning the exis­tence of truth itself brings in the sort of people that provide exactly that sort of intel­lectual diversity.”

Ryskamp said the club has the oppor­tunity to reevaluate, clarify its purpose, and return to the fed­er­ation for approval.

“If and when American Indi­vid­u­alists changes the purpose of their orga­ni­zation to comport with the college’s aims,” Ryskamp said, “they can return to Student Fed­er­ation through the new club process.”

 

  • Camus53

    ille­gitimi non car­borundum

  • Eric Shierman

    This group is banned from posting fliers? What has hap­pened to my alma mater? We used to make fun of pro­gressive cam­puses when they did stuff like this.