Leaked Messages From Towson Student Group Show Racism, Homophobia
TOWSON - Towson's chapter of Turning Point USA will remain affiliated with the university after a scandal-filled week involving racist leaked texts from the group.
On Tuesday of last week, messages began circulating Towson's campus, sent by members of Towson's chapter of Turning Point USA. TPUSA is a conservative student organization that, according to its website, advocates for "individual rights, free speech, free markets, limited government, and upholding our Constitution."
An unnamed student leaked the texts to Towson's chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America. Many of the messages contained homophobic, racist, and xenophobic remarks.
One of the leaked messages compares abortion to slavery.
"I would say human rights as well; it's like saying slavery should've been down the states so the south could decide to keep it if they wanted to. Degrading humans because their black is the same as degrading humans because they're in the womb and less developed. It should be illegal everywhere."
TPUSA members also discussed using racial slurs.
"I mean Black people call each other that all the time but when a white person uses it they get offended like it's just a word," one member said.
"Quite honestly if white people can't say it no one should, kinda weird people say that to their friends."
Another text endorsed using an infamous slur for people who identify as LGBTQ+.
"I love the word f*****, its so funny idc if its offensive it makes me laugh"
Members also made homophobic remarks about the monkeypox virus.
"We should also impose a month-long mandatory quarantine for ALL GAYS, BISEXUALS, and TRANSGENDERS starting on June 1, for their own safety."
The leak of these messages comes on the heels of a protest over Towson TPUSA inviting two conservative candidates to speak at the university.
In order to maintain affiliation with Towson University, all student groups require a faculty sponsor. TPUSA's sponsor, Richard Vatz, affirmed his commitment to the group in an email sent on Saturday.
Vatz has a controversial history as the sponsor for student groups on campus. He was previously the sponsor of a student group called "Youth for Western Civilization," which drew public criticism after chalking "white pride" on university sidewalks in 2012.
Chairman of Towson YDSA, Richard Soucy, says he wants TPUSA to be officially disbanded by the university.
"We want to see that the University takes action to prevent this kind of thing from happening again," he said.
"We want to see Turning Point disbanded on campus. We're going to also be working with the Student Government Association because currently, the student government does not have the power to disband student groups."
Towson University has been slow to respond to student outrage over the texts. The Student Affairs Office and Student Government Association sponsored a listening session on Friday where officials heard complaints from Towson Students.
The Towson Towerlight reported that Patricia Bradley, TU's Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity, told attendees that TPUSA's speech is protected under the first amendment.
"And guess what, those bigoted, racist, homophobic assholes have constitutional protections. They have constitutional protections. Do we like it that they're here? Do we like that they've said the most vile and disgusting things, ever? No, we don't. Would we like to say, 'get off our campus?' 'Not at TU?' Absolutely. But there are some restrictions."