Berkeley College Republicans president impeached by secretary amid power struggle

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Update 10/15/2017: This article has been updated to reflect additional information from Bradley Devlin.

Troy Worden was allegedly ousted as the president of Berkeley College Republicans by the organization’s secretary at the end of its Thursday evening meeting.

Bradley Devlin, the secretary of BCR, said he moved for a vote of no confidence against Worden in part because of Worden’s poor handling of Ben Shapiro’s appearance on campus Sept. 14, which was organized by BCR. According to Devlin, Worden did not show up to help on the day of the event until hours after Devlin had arrived and failed to complete simple tasks, such as coordinating kosher meals for Shapiro.

“This removal is for the long-term good of the Berkeley College Republicans and for the Berkeley community as a whole,” Devlin said.

The club allegedly intends to appoint a “less ‘alt-right’ ” member as president and bring back “actual Republican ideals,” according to a BCR member who asked to remain anonymous out of concern for his reputation. Devlin confirmed that he intends to run for president in place of Worden.

Devlin said he was concerned that he was observing BCR leadership shifting away from Constitutional conservatism and toward blind “tribalism” supporting Trump. Additionally, Devlin criticized Worden’s decision to involve himself in “Free Speech Week,” a four-day event that was organized by the Berkeley Patriot in conjunction with Milo Yiannopoulos, when BCR’s legal counsel advised club members to dissociate from the event to avoid Yiannopoulos taking advantage of them for publicity.

“I’m not here for a troll factory, I’m here to make political activists,” Devlin said. “If the Berkeley College Republicans came under new leadership, we would still be inviting speakers that some think are controversial and disagree with, but it would be for education and not to troll the university.”

According to Worden, not all of BCR’s board members were in attendance, and Devlin also allegedly counted the votes by himself without any oversight. The majority of the people who voted, Worden alleged, were freshman pledges from Devlin’s fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, who had no affiliation with BCR.

“Essentially, he brought in a large group of people who, because they signed papers, claimed that they could vote in the election … and then declared the results that I was impeached,” Worden alleged. “We will not allow the ego of one individual board member to distract the club (from) its overarching goals (of) supporting the Republican Party (and) supporting the Free Speech Movement.”

Devlin, however, stated that although some of the members he brought to vote were from Alpha Tau Omega, none of them were pledges. He added that a proctor had been present to help him tally and check the votes and that the final vote was 30-2 to impeach Worden.

Worden alleged that after Devlin announced the impeachment, he and his fraternity members went outside the room and “let out a cheer.”

BCR member Pranav Jandhyala was not at the meeting Thursday night but heard about the incident afterward. He said he was taken “by surprise” but added that he hoped the situation would be resolved.

“A lot of us didn’t know that this was coming or that this was happening,” Jandhyala said. “Nothing is productive when there’s fighting in a club, and in order to be a successful club on campus … the only way to really do that is remaining united.”

Despite Devlin’s impeachment announcement, Worden said he still considers himself to be the president of BCR.

“I absolutely dispute it, and actual BCR members dispute it. Any claims he makes to my being impeached (are) false entirely. There’s no grain of truth in it,” Worden alleged. “Now, all he’s done is (create) confusion for the Berkeley community.”

Devlin acknowledged that is a “problem” that Worden has refused to acknowledge the impeachment. Devlin said he has reached out to former, respected BCR members to come and validate the constitutionality of the impeachment.

Check back for updates.

Contact Chantelle Lee, Harini Shyamsundar and Ashley Wong at [email protected].