Harvard’s Institute of Politics has removed New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of the 21st District from its Senior Advisory Committee, citing the North Country Republican’s repeated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Hundreds of students and alumni called on Harvard to cut ties with Stefanik after last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Representative Stefanik was removed from Harvard’s Institute of Politics, a program intended to get undergraduates interested in public service, after she declined to resign voluntarily.
In a letter published to Harvard Kennedy School’s website, Dean Douglas Elmendorf says he first spoke with Stefanik and asked her to step down, but she refused. Elmendorf says the decision was not based on political ideology, or Stefanik’s staunch support for President Trump. Rather, Elmendorf says Stefanik’s assertions of voter fraud have no basis in evidence, adding “she has made public statements about court actions related to the election that are incorrect.” Stefanik graduated from Harvard in 2006. In a statement, she called the removal a rite of passage and “badge of honor” as a conservative Republican in American colleges and universities.
Last week, Stefanik was among the more than 100 House Republicans who objected to President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory in certain states — even after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Stefanik's statement in full reads: "As a conservative Republican, it is a rite of passage and badge of honor to join the long line of leaders who have been boycotted, protested, and canceled by colleges and universities across America. The decision by Harvard’s administration to cower and cave to the woke Left will continue to erode diversity of thought, public discourse, and ultimately the student experience. The Ivory Tower’s march toward a monoculture of like-minded, intolerant liberal views demonstrates the sneering disdain for everyday Americans and will instill a culture of fear for students who will understand that a conservative viewpoint will not be tolerated and will be silenced. During my time in Congress serving on the House Committee on Education and Labor, I have already taken on Harvard and won. Building a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress who successfully fought against Harvard’s unconstitutional attack on freedom of association for single-sex organizations remains one of my proudest achievements. I relish the opportunity to stand up for freedom of speech and freedom of thought on college campuses across America. Congratulations Harvard, the entire Board of the Institute of Politics now consists only of Joe Biden voters - how reflective of America."