Former ISU College Republicans Prez Accused of Sexual Harassment, Racism

Jacob Minock, who helped bring white nationalist Nick Fuentes to campus last year, left the student group but remains active in Iowa politics, recently hosting a forum for Steve King and his primary rivals with Story County GOP Chairman Brett Barker

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Past and present members of the Iowa State University College Republicans are accusing a former president of the officially recognized student organization, Jacob V. Minock, of a host of alleged misdeeds including sexual harassment, racism, abuse of power, and threats of blackmail and violence. The allegations span a period of time that overlaps with when the organization was accused of racism for tweets supporting far-right viewpoints and its role in a white nationalist’s visit to campus, and before another prominent member of the group, Anthony Labruna, was recruited for a job at the White House.

First reported Monday by the Iowa State Daily, the allegations were laid out in an eight-page document dated May 14 that calls for Minock’s impeachment, citing the organization’s constitution and asserting that he “stands imminent trial.” Minock, who is referred to as Vlad throughout the document, is no longer a member of the group but served as its president until late last year and, according to the university’s directory, is currently a graduate student studying business administration.

Minock is still listed as the treasurer of a statewide organization called Iowa Young Republicans. In that role on May 7, he co-hosted a virtual candidates forum for the 4th District GOP primary for Congressman Steve King’s seat alongside Nevada Mayor Brett Barker, a national committeeman for the Young Republicans group and the chairman of the Story County Republican Party.


The document released by the College Republicans lists 17 allegations against Minock during his time as a member of the student organization, many of them involving sexism. (He “did not respond to repeated requests for comment” by phone and email, the Daily reported.) During the 2017-2018 academic year, when the group invited members of the conservative group Young Americans for Freedom at Ames High School to campus, Minock allegedly told a fellow College Republican that he had “dibs” on one of the high school students once she arrived at Iowa State. At another campus event with members of the high school group in attendance last December, the document claims, Minock asked another College Republican which high schooler they “wanted to have.” He also allegedly described his plan to recruit freshman women so he could “lay pipe” on them, using a euphemism for his penis.

“the environment Vlad created reeked of sexism.”

According to the document, three women students quit attending meetings because of Minock’s behavior. “I was at a meeting and witneseed [sic] Vlad make several comments that one of the then members shouldn’t run for a position because she was a woman,” reads a statement attributed to an unnamed “female student” at the university. “Not too long after I was at another meeting where multiple pictures of girls in bikinis were used in a powerpoint. That was the last meeting I attended because the culture/environment Vlad created reeked of sexism.”

Under a section titled “Abuse of Power,” an unnamed student alleges that Minock used the group’s sign-up sheet to find her number and add her to his Snapchat account, giving her “a very weird feeling” and prompting her to leave the group. The section also includes a screenshot of an email in which Minock encourages College Republicans to cast votes online for an Illinois beauty pageant, boasting that one of the contestants follows him on Instagram. Elsewhere in the document, a former secretary of the group, Piper Christenson, says he “displayed a lack of professionalism when he made and contributed to multiple sexist jokes and comments” during the group’s meetings. A screenshot of a text message conversation under a section labeled “Violent Threats” allegedly shows a former board member of the group explaining Minock told him that Christenson “needed to get beaten.”

Other incidents on the list include an alleged blackmail attempt last fall that’s recounted by Kimberly Zavoski, the group’s current secretary, who claims Minock secretly recorded a student admitting they had smoked marijuana and then threatened to send the audio to a company at which the student was seeking an internship. Charles Klapatauskas, a current member of the group, alleges that Minock falsely accused Steve King’s leading primary rival, state Senator Randy Feenstra, of “bribing the club for an endorsement” after Minock had a drunken conversation with his campaign staffers. (The College Republicans eventually backed then-Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor, who stands little chance of winning the nomination.)

“Mr. Minock referred to Fridays as ‘Hard R Fridays’ and would use the n-word in public conversation.”

Minock is accused of racism by a former board member who claims that he “referred to Fridays as ‘Hard R Fridays’ in front of College Republican members and would use the n-word in public conversation.” The document also addresses a notorious event in March 2019, when a white nationalist named Nick Fuentes visited campus. At the time, both Minock and the College Republicans denied involvement in the event, despite an email showing that Minock promoted it to members of the group. In turn, Minock blamed the controversy on Ryan Hurley — the group’s current president — who he claimed invited Fuentes on behalf of the campus chapter of Turning Point USA, a right-wing nonprofit founded by Charlie Kirk. “Mr. Minock admitted to a member that he was the sole person responsible for inviting Nick Fuentes to campus, having emailed Fuentes about coming to Iowa State months before the event happened,” the document claims.

In the longest description on the list of allegations, Zavoski claims that Minock locked her and Hurley out of the group’s Twitter account, among others, after they were elected secretary and president of the group at the end of the fall semester last year (the document mistakenly says this happened in the fall of 2020). They were locked out, according to Zavoski, while “Hurley and I worked together to delete tweets” made by Minock, as well as his joke endorsement of Kimberly Graham, a progressive Senate candidate, in the account’s bio. Minock eventually provided the updated password: RyanHurleyisaCuck69.

It’s unclear what specific tweets Hurley and Zavoski may have deleted. As the Informer previously reported, the account has continued to endorse far-right views since Minock’s departure. “Due to this immigration system we’re seeing a resurgence of diseases that were wiped out in our country being brought back in,” a tweet from March falsely claims, recycling a century-old nativist myth. The tweet was praised by Michelle Malkin, a right-wing commentator who has encouraged college students to read a notorious anti-Semitic book used as Nazi propaganda and is known for her defense of Japanese internment camps and the racial profiling of Muslims.

Gavin Aronsen
Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.