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Duke College Republicans See Funds Cut, May Lose Charter Over Former Gay Leader's Dismissal

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At a four-hour meeting Wednesday, the Duke University Student Government Senate voted to deny the school's College Republicans chapter funding for the remainder of the academic year -- and took steps to possibly de-charter the organization that they say has exhibited a "culture of discrimination."

The College Republicans came under fire earlier this year when Duke student and chapter chair Justin Robinette was impeached. The group's members said it was due Robinette's "unprofessional conduct." But Robinette claimed he was ousted for being gay.

Robinette and former College Republicans Vice Chair Cliff Satell presented the student senate with several incendiary e-mails as evidence, the Duke Chronicle reports:

Although the Senate's actions were against the club as a whole--and not individual members--Robinette and Satell presented the Senate with e-mail evidence sent from DCR Chair Carter Boyle, a senior. The e-mails include a derogatory "homosexual image," gay remarks and racist and anti-Semitic messages, all allegedly sent by Boyle. The packet also includes e-mail evidence of death threats mostly directed at Robinette and images of vandalism painted on the East Campus bridge during the summer.

A College Republicans executive board member told the Chronicle that the e-mails did "not represent the members of the [group's] executive board as it stands now."

In April, Robinette told the Chronicle that he believed his "sexual orientation had a reason as to [his] impeachment." College Republicans members cited a flawed election and Robinette's "unbecoming conduct" as reason for his dismissal.

Duke's Student Organization Finance Committee will decide the group's charter status in the next few weeks.

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