While many college students are currently enjoying their time off, some are utilizing this summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. Conservative activists at Loyola University Chicago were planning to bring best-selling author and Young America’s Foundation lecturer Karl Rove to their campus for the fall semester. Administrators had other plans, however.
University officials denied the request to host Karl Rove, arguing that due to their 501(c)(3) tax status, they cannot host a “political” speaker before the midterm elections. Those with even the faintest knowledge of tax law understand that is simply not the case.
Kimberly A. Moore, director of student affairs and Greek affairs at Loyola University Chicago, told students in an email that, “The timing of this event is problematic given the campaign cycle. Loyola has to maintain impartiality in order to protect our tax-exempt status.” It is important to note that Karl Rove is not working for any campaign this season.
As if that weren’t egregious enough, Loyola University Chicago has a history of hosting partisan speakers on election years. On September 1, 2004, Howard Dean was allowed to speak on campus. Just a couple weeks later, third party candidate Ralph Nader not only spoke on campus, but it was also advertised as a campaign event and donations were solicited.
After long discussions, Loyola officials offered to host the event after the midterm elections, but given Karl Rove's busy schedule, that is simply not possible.
Sean Vera, the student who is trying to bring Karl Rove to his campus, commented on the situation: “It is very disconcerting to see Loyola not live up to the standards of academic freedom that they frequently preach about. I never expected Loyola would prevent the free exchange of ideas and that they would do so in such a partisan manner.”
As our readers already know, Young America’s Foundation serves as an arbitor in helping young activists bring speakers such as Karl Rove to campuses across the country. We offer a list of more than 70 speakers to choose from. In 2009, we sponsored more than 600 lectures that reached more than 500,000 people nationwide.