By: Vincent Medina and Montse Palmerin
Turning Point USA protesters from Fullerton State and Long Beach State were detained by the CSULB Police Department on Monday outside the Students for Quality Education meeting in the Cultural Resource Center.
The La F.U.E.R.Z.A Student Association hosted the meeting, where SQE presented its initiative to defund the CSULB Police Department. Instead, they want the money redistributed toward campus needs, including housing and mental health counselors.
CSUF Turning Point USA president Marcos Zelada and five other organizers arrived to protest the initiative and aggravate the Cultural Resource Center organizations.
Zelada held a sign that read, “Defunding never works, bozos.”
The conservative organizer said TPUSA was practicing their freedom of speech against SQE’s initiative.
“This was an impromptu counter to the dangerous ideas of defunding the police, which is what SQE is trying to do on campus,” Zelada said.
La F.U.E.R.Z.A Student Association and the Black Student Union walked out of their rooms to confront the conservative protesters.
The BSU is across the hall from the La F.U.E.R.Z.A office.
CSULB fourth-year political science major and SQE leader Randy Santiago repeatedly told Turning Point USA protesters to leave, but they refused.
The demonstrators argued loudly in the hallway until Turning Point USA called campus police for assistance, according to a joint statement from the Cultural Resource Center organizations and SQE.
Three campus police officers arrived approximately ten minutes later.
CSULB police officer Chad Robbins argued with the cultural center demonstrators for calling police departments “white supremacist institutions,” according to the cultural center joint statement.
Other officers created a barricade between TPUSA protesters and cultural center demonstrators.
“[TPUSA] is coming here to harass us,” Santiago said to Officer Robbins. “[Kicking] us out of our center, a space that has been designated for our students as a safe place.”
Officer Robbins assessed the demonstration and learned that most TPUSA protesters were not CSULB students.
The cultural center organizations applauded as Robbins detained the Turning Point USA protesters and sent them away from the Cultural Resource Center.
The Black Student Union, La F.U.E.R.Z.A Student Association and Students for Quality Education Long Beach released their joint statement via Instagram the following morning.
They urged CSULB president Jane Close Conoley, VP of Student Affairs Beth Lesen and ASI to “respond appropriately” to the incident.
The Cultural Resource Center organizations refused to comment further on the issue.
The CSULB Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.