Student activists are demanding that a Texas public university remove a conservative group from campus and have even invoked satanic witch rituals to aid the campaign.
Students at the University of North Texas created a Change.org petition calling for the removal of the school's Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter for "hateful actions." The petition, signed by the UNT College Democrats, the multicultural group MUEVE, and the queer alliance group GLAD, claims the conservatives "harassed" LGBT groups and multicultural organizations. One activist took the campaign a step further by performing satanic witch rituals against the group's female leader.
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In light of national Black Lives Matter protests, student activists appear emboldened to cancel fellow students and groups that critique progressive messages. Conservative campus groups have been targeted by accusations of "hate speech" from left-leaning groups on college campuses.
A former UNT student posted a picture of items for a "hex" with "intentions of misfortune" against YCT leader Kelly Neidert. Anna Katz, a recent graduate of UNT, tweeted a picture of a drawing of a goat captioned "the devil" and a cauldron. Katz, who later removed the Tweet, could not be reached for comment.
Neidert said she is familiar with attempts to "cancel" her group and that the emergence of would-be witches looking to "hex" her is alarming. While Katz said she wished only "misfortune, not physical harm," Neidert said the message disturbed her.
"I think that is a demonstration of pure evil," Neidert told the Washington Free Beacon. "It's not cute, it shouldn't be a trend, that's actually evil. Considering the card said ‘the devil' on it … we shouldn't be interacting with anything that has something to do with him."
YCT was a registered campus organization in the early 2000s and either disbanded or was removed from the university over what Neidert described as "distasteful" events. She and fellow young conservatives restarted the YCT chapter in the fall of 2019 and disavowed the original chapter.
The petition lumps together the early 2000s YCT chapter and the newly founded YCT chapter. It cites a 2005 event in which the original chapter of YCT awarded candy bars to students who "captured" illegal immigrants. The petition also claims YCT is homophobic and transphobic and that it trivialized National Coming Out Day by tweeting, "It's #NationalComingOutDay so come to the fountain mall today at 12pm to come out as conservative and get snacks."
A spokesman for UNT's College Democrats said the liberal student group condemned the harassment of Neidert but had no comment on the "hex." The group stands by the petition.
"This is not a choice made by political decision, we do not care that they are conservatives, we would do this if any group on campus was spreading the rhetoric YCT spreads," the spokesman said. "We know YCT is a different charter from the one in 2005. An apology for one action does not equal an apology for ALL of their hateful actions."
GLAD echoed the sentiment, saying it is planning a letter-writing campaign if the university does not take direct action against the conservative group.
"We cannot as an organization that prides itself on serving UNT's queer students let YCT rile up our student body," a GLAD spokesperson told the Free Beacon. "If there is not direct action from administration, we plan on doing an emailing campaign to let them know we are serious."
MUEVE, the other student group behind the campaign, did not return a request for comment.
Neidert said YCT and its faculty adviser have not received any information from the university about the campaign. The University of North Texas did not respond to request for comment.