Boyle quits as GOP Chair; Lefevre vetoes Senate's stripping Republican Club of student funds

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✔Fact checker here. Update

Text of veto message at end of post.

Carter Boyle and Travis Rapp -- backed into a corner decorated with the words Fag, Faggot Center, Shit-on-Dicks, Naggers, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Jew Pigs -- have resigned as chair and vice chair of the Duke Republican Club.

(Earlier information from a Fact Checker source indicated Chief of Staff Rachal Provost had also resigned. Not so. FC corrects all errors.)

This was the only decent thing that Boyle, who has been in the thick of things, and Rapp, who has had a much lower profile, could do. In fact, it is the only decent thing Boyle has done during this entire sordid episode.

The resignations apparently came Friday morning, after a double rebuke by the student Senate, confirming the club's leadership was infested with homophobia, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and a few other equal opportunity varieties of hate.

✔The Club has now announced new elections, with current and former members of the Executive Committee barred from being Chair the new chair. That would seem to be aimed specifically at precluding former chair Justin Robinette and former Vice Chair Cliff Satell.

It's not known how the Club will accomplish this, since such a restriction does not appear in its by-laws. But the Republicans have changed their by-laws in an instant at night before -- as they did when they ousted Robinette, a move now confirmed to have occurred only because he was coming out as gay.

The restriction against Robinette and Satell also presents the issue of whether a student club -- required by its charter to admit all -- can limit some members right to stand for election. First class, second class membership it seems. First class and second class being assigned after you get on board.

✔✔✔✔✔Shortly after Boyle and Rapp slinked away, the Duke Student Government president Mike Lefevre announced his veto of the legislation to strip the club of student funds.

Robinette is saying Lefevre never discussed the situation with him after the vote, so the veto is a total surprise.

LeFevre sent FC the news release attached at the bottom of this post. However, he refused to answer questions.

Robinette is considering his next move -- possibly seeking a senate override which would take a 2/3rds vote. The funding measure passed by a bigger margin than that, either 20-3 or 20-4, and FC is trying to get that little issue ironed out.

All this leaves alive a companion measure passed by 2/3rds of the Senate to stop university funds for club programming activities by de-chartering the club, now pending before the Student Organization Finance Committee for confirmation by majority vote.

The club could still operate on campus no matter the outcome of any of the funding actions.

The Judiciary, citing scheduling conflicts, will not hear a related lawsuit, Satell v DCR Sunday afternoon. Fact Checker expects a lot of the complaint will have to be rewritten, if the litigation continues at all.

VP Moneta, President Brodhead: Fact Checker states without equivocation that official University disciplinary action should continue for any violation of the "zero tolerance policy." The hate evident in the leadership of the club is not just a matter for student concern, but a violation of deeply held university principles and student conduct governed by them.

Moreover, the Senate heard conflict testimony while it was considering action against the Republicans. This gives rise to possible specific violation of the Duke Community Standard, which prohibits lying.

The veto puts a lot of onus on the Brodhead Administration: it's line has been to duck, saying this is for students to resolve themselves. Now, with a veto of the Senate's resolution, we see that students are not doing the job.

Thank you for reading Fact Checker.


Duke Student Government President Mike Lefevre vetoed a hold on the funding of the Duke College Republicans Friday afternoon in response to the resignations of Duke CR senior leadership. The veto came shortly after his office received separate letters of resignation from
Duke CR Chair Carter Boyle and Administrative Vice-Chair Travis Rapp.

President Lefevre’s veto nullifies DSG-BS-090802, A Budgetary Statute of the Duke Student Government Defunding the Duke College Republicans (“DCR”), originally passed by the Senate on September 8, 2010.

“The budgetary statute was passed in large part to condemn the offensive e-mails and disruptive behavior that had been allegedly promulgated by the Duke College Republicans’ senior leadership,” said Lefevre. “The inaction of the organization’s other members appeared to be an implicit endorsement of that behavior.

“Today, the Duke College Republicans took major steps towards changing the culture of their organization. In the interest of preserving the reputation of their group and the political party it represents, the Duke CR’s two most senior leaders voluntarily stepped down from their posts this morning,” Lefevre added.

Duke CR will hold an election to fill the position of Chair following two weeks of public notice, as mandated by a Senate statute taking effect October 1. Stewart Day, the group’s current Executive Vice-Chair, will serve as Interim Chair until elections take place, pursuant to the bylaws of the Duke CR. No members of the current executive board will be permitted to run, a provision made to guarantee the integrity of the leadership change. The group has indicated its
intent to seek external candidates to fill the position of Chair, hoping to bring fresh perspective and new life to the student group.

“With this change in leadership comes a new Duke CR—one that emphasizes political
engagement while embodying the highest ideals of open and tolerant discourse. Duke needs a unified Republican voice for students and I am confident that under new leadership and with ongoing communication with DSG, Duke CR can fill this role responsibly,” said Lefevre.

President Lefevre’s decision will go into effect Saturday afternoon, when the budgetary statute expires without his signature.

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