Stanford University Student Group Denies Funding for Mike Pence Speech

The Stanford University school Senate has denied funding requested by the College Republicans for former Vice President Mike Pence to speak on campus.

The conservative group announced in November it planned on inviting Pence to speak on campus in February 2022. Members have since been trying to get funding for Pence’s appearance, including applying for a $6,000 grant from the Undergraduate Student Senate.

Campus Reform reported on the political nature of the elected student body:

The Senate deliberated Nov. 29 over the request in a “closed session vote over Slack”. The request for funding was ultimately denied in a 7-6 decision with one absentee. All other Standard Grant requests were approved.

Campus Reform obtained emails in which Undergraduate Senator and Appropriations Committee Chair Jaden Morgan asked for the following clarifications on the College Republican’s application before informing the student organization about denial of funds:

“The first is given the large projected attendance, to what degree will the event be open to the outside community, and what measures are being taken to promote public health? The second is will ASSU funds be used to provide security, and has SUPD been consulted?”

The College Republicans gave Campus Reform a statement about the denial of funding:

 “In applying for a funding grant through the Stanford University Student senate, the senate has voted to categorically reject our request for funding, even as they approved every single grant of the same kind submitted by every other student organization.”

The statement continued:

The student senate did not provide a single reason to us for the rejection of our grant application, though the actual reason is clear—our grant was rejected explicitly because our speaker was a conservative. Moreover, the vote was carried out with 7 in favor, 7 abstentions, and 1 in opposition, clearly indicating there was no clear reason for the student senate to reject our application either.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also provided Campus Reform with a statement that said, “We’re asking the Undergraduate Senate to transparently explain the basis for the denial. Students must be able to know why elected representatives have made a decision.”

Stephen Sills, spokesman for the Stanford College Republicans and vice president of the California College Republicans told Campus Reform that he “is confident that the senate will ‘ultimately approve the grant as it is their Constitutional obligation.’”

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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