Hope College student and prospective Turning Point USA chapter president Maryn Setsuda told Breitbart News that her TPUSA student group was denied by administrators, adding that when she asked why, she was told her that TPUSA does not meet the college’s qualifications of “Christian Aspirations,” among other issues. The student spoke to SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow on Friday.
Turning Point USA has been denied from becoming an officially recognized student group at Hope College, according to the group’s prospective chapter president, Maryn Setsuda, who added that she was given “no specific reasons or examples” as to why this decision was made.
Setsuda told Breitbart News that when she asked administrators to elaborate on why the group was denied, the school’s Associate Dean of Student Life suggested that TPUSA does not “live into Hope’s Christian Aspirations,” among other reasons.
“I asked [the Associate Dean of Student Life], I said, ‘Do all college campus activities need to be associated with Christianity?’” explained Setsuda, adding that she brought up the notion that “there are other groups on campus that arguably don’t aspire to Christian values,” such as the College Democrats, who support abortion.
“So I said, ‘Is there something that Turning Point does that’s even worse than [abortion]?’ and she was speechless,” said Setsuda.
According to an email obtained by Breitbart News, in order to be approved, student groups must support and enhance “the educational mission and purpose of Hope College,” advance “a sense of community on campus,” uphold “Hope’s Christian Aspirations,” as well as “the Virtues of Public Discourse” — among other factors.
“We did not find that your group satisfactorily met these considerations,” added the Associate Dean of Student Life in her email. “We used a majority vote system. The majority voted to not pass your group as it was presented.”
Setsuda, however, believes that her group does meet the qualifications to become officially approved by the college.
“All those reasons they listed — like saying that one reason why we didn’t get approved was that we don’t follow Christian aspirations — well, if they really wanted to point fingers at who doesn’t support Christian aspirations, then look at the College Democrats who support abortion,” she added.
The student said that when she brought this point up with administrators, the chair of Student Development told her “I’m not here to debate Christianity,” and “I’m not getting into this,” and then suggested that she speak to the vice president of Student Development, instead.
Moreover, Setsuda said that she believes her involvement with the conservative student group has also played a role in her being denied the opportunity to serve in student government.
The student told Breitbart News that she was recently nominated for Student Congress, adding that being nominated functions the same as being appointed at Hope College, meaning that her ability to serve on Student Congress shouldn’t have been obstructed.
Setsuda said that when she met with the vice president of Student Congress to speak about her opportunity, the conversation was segued into a discussion about TPUSA instead, which had nothing to do with the student’s nomination.
Setsuda was ultimately denied from serving on Student Congress in November.
“I think it’s a shame that individuals are letting their emotions drive their decisions rather than looking at facts regarding the Student Congress vote,” she said.
Hope College did not respond to Breitbart News’ request for comment and clarification on which factors were weighed in the decision to deny TPUSA, or whether Setsuda’s involvement with the conservative group played a role in her denial from student government.
You can Follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.