Campus News

College GOP, Dems clash over Facebook video

UW-Madison's College Republicans posted a Facebook video mocking a UW-La Crosse student who resigned from her position as Vice Chair of the statewide College Democrats of Wisconsin organization following controversial tweets.

Image By: Leah Voskuil

A Facebook video mocking a UW-La Crosse student has created conflict between UW-Madison’s College Republicans and College Democrats.

After UW-La Crosse student Sarah Semrad resigned from her position as Vice Chair of the statewide College Democrats of Wisconsin organization when Twitter posts of her saying that she “hates white men” gained state and national attention, UW-Madison’s College Republicans poked fun at the student in their weekly news round-up.

The news vlog showed College Republicans’ Communications Director Emelia Rohl and Deputy Communications Director Alesha Guenther laughing at the student’s situation and Twitter posts, saying that certain tweets would negatively impact “her boyfriend prospects” and “maybe her job prospects too.”

Just two hours after the video was posted, UW-Madison’s College Democrats spoke out.

In a press release posted on Facebook, the College Democrats said they were shocked and saddened that “the College Republicans of UW-Madison would use their official platform to openly cyberbully an individual student.”

Brianna Koerth, the College Democrats chair, said in the post that they were disappointed the College Republicans used their news vlog to “publicly deride and make jokes at the expense of another student.”

Koerth said that maintaining respect between the two student organizations is of the “utmost importance,” despite having different opinions on policy issues. She called on the group to retract their statement.

“The vicious comments made by College Republicans are what further the partisan divide, and we wholeheartedly denounce their actions,” Koerth wrote. “The College Republicans must apologize and retract these statements.”

Other UW-Madison community members shared similar sentiments. Many expressed their disappointment in the College Republicans through both Facebook comments on the news video and reviews on the organization’s page.

Eliana Locke, a College Democrats of UW-Madison spokesperson, said there has not been any further communication between the College Democrats and the College Republicans on the issue.

The College Republicans of UW-Madison did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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