Elizabeth Adkins’ election to the student body presidency in 2017 has been labeled a “win” for Turning Point USA, a conservative activist organization.
In a press release sent to The Daily Tar Heel listing 54 political wins from college campuses across the country, TPUSA claimed to “have supported and financed” all of these students. This is in light of the upcoming student body president elections set to take place next week at UNC and more across the country in the spring semester.
Adkins has no relation to the local chapter or from the national TPUSA organization.
“I was not, and never have been, in conversations with the organization during my campaign and have not been in conversations during the administration,” she said.
Furthermore, the UNC chapter of TPUSA has no prior knowledge of this release by the national organization. Grayson Haff, the chapter president, did not know who Elizabeth Adkins was or what her policy platforms were.
Adkins is not the only listed president who has no relationship with TPUSA. Cameron Keen, student body president at the University of Georgia, has denounced this association as well.
“The listing you saw about my campaign being affiliated is incorrect, and it must be a mistake on their part,” Keen said. “Additionally, no previous campaign at UGA has been involved with Turning Point to my knowledge.”
According the press release, Charlie Kirk, the founder and executive director of TPUSA, called his role in student governments “a rather undercover, underground operation” during a 2015 appearance in front of a conservative group. He said he believes that student governments have direct influence over millions in student fee appropriations, and therefore places incredible value in these “victories."
“With all that power and money, TPUSA plans to use student resources to eliminate funding to progressive organizations, block all Boycott, Divestment and Sanction groups and student legislation, start Pro-America week-long events on campus, and fund speakers to spread a message of American Exceptionalism and Free Market ideals on campuses,” said TPUSA in the press release.
TPUSA acknowledges its association with racist actions and attitudes in the press release. At the University of New Mexico, TPUSA sponsored a campus bake sale that charged Asians, Blacks, Hispanic, and white people different prices for cookies. Asian people were charged $1.50, while white people were charged $1, and Black and Hispanic people were charged 50 cents.
At UNC, the group promotes its ideals in The Pit by handing out merchandise such as “Socialism Sucks” stickers and “I Love Capitalism” buttons.
The press release labeled UNC “as a school targeted by TPUSA” and was accompanied by multiple news articles concerning TPUSA and Charlie Kirk.
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