Penn State has certainly seen its share of political drama this election season.
On Aug. 11, the College Republicans announced for the first time in their 76 years at Penn State they would not endorse the Republican nominee in the presidential election.
The announcement was quickly followed by a statement from the pro-Trump, Bull-Moose Party, denouncing the College Republicans and calling for a change in leadership within the group.
Members of the Bull-Moose Party showed up to the College Republicans’ first meeting of the semester in an attempt to change the group’s decision. However, their efforts were met with no success.
Things seemed to settle down between the two groups after the meeting until a recent leak of private GroupMe messages allegedly affiliated with the Bull-Moose Party rocked the Penn State political landscape.
The messages — exchanged among users with names such as “#BringBackHarambe” and “#WeAreThe5Percent” — criticize the College Republicans and their president, Michael Straw, in an explicit and malicious manner.
Copies of the GroupMe messages were sent to The Daily Collegian anonymously via email. The Collegian’s main Twitter account was also tagged in several tweets sent out by the @ActOfOursBringShame account that released the messages to the public.
The Daily Collegian has been investigating the messages since they were received, but all parties involved are anonymous and no direct connection to Penn State students or political organizations have been proven or confirmed at this time.
The Bull-Moose Party has repeatedly denied any affiliation with the messages, saying all official communications among members occur either through Google Hangouts or the group’s app.
“This GroupMe in no way, shape or form represents the ideas of the conglomeration of members that comprise the Bull-Moose Party,” Chris Baker, director of communications for the Bull-Moose Party, said in an interview Tuesday.
Multiple Penn State student organizations, however, have released statements condemning the Bull-Moose Party over the messages. These groups include College Democrats, Students for Hillary, Speech and Debate Society and Justice League of Penn State and State College.
The Speech and Debate Society pulled out of the first debate between the Bull-Moose Party and Students for Hillary, but the debate continued with moderation from members of the University Park Undergraduate Association.
On Wednesday night, the Bull-Moose Party announced during its weekly meeting the chairman and vice chairman were resigning from their positions. Replacements will be elected and sworn in at the next meeting on Oct. 12.