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R. Nial Bradshaw/Flickr (CC-BY)
A Fordham University coffee shop kicked out members of a campus Republican club after they decided to hang out with their MAGA hats in full view.
The student-run Rodrigue’s Coffee House, located in Fordham’s campus in the Bronx, prides itself as “the social, intellectual, and moral well-being of the Fordham community.” The cafe also has a “safer space policy,” which asks students not to make assumptions regarding another person’s “gender, sexuality, race, class, or experiences.”
Confrontation is encouraged under the policy, and that’s essentially what happened after the coffee house’s president told the Republican group to leave. And according to her, it’s because their red MAGA hats—the “Make America Great Again” caps worn by President Trump supporters—represent “fascism” and “Nazis.”
“I am protecting my customers,” the president told the group, according to a video obtained by Campus Reform. “I don’t want people like you supporting this club… I am giving you five minutes.”
The group tried to ask for refunds too, causing the two sides to bicker for well over a minute as the Republicans refused to leave.
“You are threatening the integrity of our club,” the president said. “This is a community standard—you are wearing hats that completely violate our safer space policy.”
The argument itself was partly intentional on the College Republicans’ part. In an interview with Campus Reform, one member admitted that the group attended the cafe to “test the unwritten rule that conservatives were banned” from the building.
“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,” the student told Campus Reform. “I also have the right to wear what I want to wear and express my own political views.”
Meanwhile, after Fox News picked up the incident and reached out to the university, a Fordham spokesman tried to distance the university from the coffee shop by stressing that the school itself does not have a safe space rule.
“There is no University safe space policy, nor one that excludes any members of the Fordham community from any public spaces on the basis of their political views,” Fordham spokesman Bob Howe explained to Fox.
Pro-Trump sentiments have been met with resistance at several college campuses since the president was elected. One Tulane frat found itself in hot water after building a wall in Trump’s honor, and the president previously threatened to pull funding when UC Berkeley cancelled a speaking engagement by former Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.