High Point College Republicans: HPU canceled our event, classmates threatened us, but we won’t be silenced
Opinion Written by Caroline Peacock and Published in The Carolina Journal – January 25, 2023
Have you ever felt that your voice wasn’t loud enough to be heard?
On Sunday, the High Point University College Republicans Chapter felt this way as the school canceled our documentary screening event and we received threatening comments.
The event, to be hosted by HPUCR president Hayley Hill, who had begun planning the event back in December, was a film screening of The Daily Wire’s “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM.”
The film explores the death of George Floyd and the riots that followed, which eventually resulted in the rise of the BLM movement. The film features Candace Owens, who discovers where the money for the BLM movement was obtained and how it was spent.
To promote the event, Hill took to social media on the HPUCR Instagram (@hpucr), posting a picture with the details of the event. The post was immediately ambushed with threats and horrific comments from other students and clubs. Threatening comments were also posted to Yik Yak, a social media platform where users can post anonymously.
Most of the threats were aimed at the HPUCR Club, while others were specifically targeted toward the president of the club. Hill filed a police report with High Point University Police, which has actively worked to keep her safe with the HPU security team.
Kayla Watson, the director of student engagement at HPU, contacted Hill Sunday night, informing her the event was canceled due to not having the rights to the film.
Hill felt defeated as she knew she had obtained permission from Josh Harris, the media and services digital librarian, in December regarding the rights of the movie. Harris had explained that as long as the event took place in an area that is not considered a public venue and a student, not the club or university, had purchased a subscription to The Daily Wire, the film could be shown. Hill purchased the subscription herself, without the organization or university funding, and moved the event to a private room that was not considered a public venue.
As an HPUCR member, I know the event was not canceled due to lack of rights to the film. It was canceled because other members of the HPU community have chosen to threaten the club.
I feel that this is incredibly unfair to us because we have never threatened or hurt any individual. We as a club just want a safe place for us to talk about and debate our political views. But instead, the club received death threats, name calling, and horrific remarks:
On Instagram @chickenpoopies commented, “You all will PAY IN BLOOD!!!!!”
On Yik Yak an anonymous user posted, “this is shy of terrorism.”
Hill’s boyfriend received a direct message from @pdiddsss who said, “Hope u get gutted b**ch.” (edited for profanity)
The threats have continued as the week has progressed. We as Republicans are being threatened for sharing our political views and educating ourselves on opposing views.
The people who are threatening us had the opportunity to attend a meeting held by HPU’s Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Club and HPU’s Black Cultural Awareness Club on Monday night to discuss their views on the events that have happened this week.
So, it leaves us as Republicans asking: Why don’t we get a voice? We didn’t threaten anyone, so why do we have to face the punishment of having our event canceled?
The Republicans on campus feel that we no longer have a voice.
The HPUCR are calling on the administration to help create a safe and healthy environment for all individuals, no matter their political view point. We ask for punishment of those who have threatened to hurt us, and we ask that others think twice before choosing to harass or threaten us.
HPUCR is open to everyone, no matter your political view point. After speaking to the vice president of the club, Mary Sosebee, there are several things that need clarification about the club.
First, HPUCR respects the opinions of all individuals and has never threatened or hurt another individual based on their political views.
The film was not intended to hurt or offend anyone. It was meant to start a conversation to better understand the BLM movement and the political views that surround it.
Everyone is encouraged to join or to attend one of our events. As a conservative group, we will spend more time talking about conservative values, but we welcome anyone who wants to learn more and share ideologies of their own.
Second, we as a club did not create the documentary title. Some individuals have taken offense to the title, and that was not our intent.
As a Republican, I am tired of my personal beliefs being trampled on in the classroom, in the community, and in every-day life. This message is for any Republican student suffering from indoctrination and threats in the classroom. Do NOT be afraid to speak your mind. It is time that Republicans have a voice.