Members of Fordham University College Republicans ran into trouble when they wore Make America Great Again hats into a campus coffee shop (video below).
The incident occurred at Rodrigue's Coffee Shop, reports the Daily Mail.
The Fordham Ram, the university's newspaper, describes Rodrigue's as being the only campus club that provides organic fair trade coffee and an open community space. It is staffed by a volunteer student workforce and governed by an elected executive board.
In a video shot by the Republican group and posted online on Dec. 8, a person identified as "President" of Rodrigue's is seen telling members of the group to leave the premises within five minutes.
Rachel Dougherty is identified as co-president of the coffee house in The Fordham Ram article, where her job is defined as "coordinating the general logistics of the coffee shop and events as well as perpetuating the community and personal feel of Rodrigue's."
In the video, one of the Republicans points to his MAGA hat and says, "This says nothing about supporting political identities. This says nothing about politics and you have no right to do this."
To which the president replies: "I am protecting my customers," adding, "no one here wants people like you supporting our club."
Make America Great Again was the slogan of President Donald Trump's campaign, and Trump often wore his MAGA baseball cap on the campaign trail.
Michael Esposito, 19, asked to take a picture of the policy. "You are trying to be threatening, why are you trying to be threatening?" he asked.
"You are threatening the integrity of our club. This is a community standard -- you are wearing hats that completely violate safe space policy," the president replied. "You have to take it off or you have to go."
Esposito asked her if she thought the MAGA hat has a racist logo, she said "Yes it does!" When asked what the acronym stands for, she said "Fascism, Nazis! You have three minutes."
She also handed him a copy of the policy:
Rodrigue's strives to be a safer space on Fordham's campus. For these reasons, consider the following: Do not make assumptions about someone's gender, sexuality, race, class, or experiences. Be aware of your own identity, while being considerate of the personhood of your peers. Be mindful of the ways in which your words and actions impact others. Be aware of the boundaries of other's space, physical or otherwise, and respect their consent. No racism - No sexism - No homophobia. If you feel that someone has transgressed this policy, we want you to feel comfortable confronting them or approaching a member behind the counter, who is available as a resource to assist you.
A member of the College Republicans told Campus Reform that "we wanted to test the unwritten rule that conservatives were banned from that coffee shop."
Elaborating, he explained: "We went there and just started doing some homework and studying. Then we were asked to leave. We are tuition paying students, therefore we should be able to use any building on campus that we want. This school is over $70,000 a year in tuition, therefore I feel that I have the right to go into all of the buildings that other students are allowed to go into. I also have the right to wear what I want to wear and express my own political views."
Fordham Students United, an "intersectional coalition of student leaders, activists, faculty & alumni," dismissed it as a stunt.
"FSU stands with Rodrigue's Coffee House and its community after this ridiculous smear campaign," the group said on Dec. 9. "A club having a safer space policy simply means that all people inside the space are held to the same standard of respect. Being conservative is not a violation of their safe space policy. On the other hand, ten to fifteen people wearing MAGA hats and recording themselves walking into a building with the intent of getting kicked out as part of a publicity stunt certainly is."