By: Ryan Bartels

dgbvbOn September 23rd, the Cavalier Daily, the student publication
on Grounds, published an article entitled
“The virtues of not protesting.”
 Written by the official
Cavalier Daily leadership, the opinion piece ostensibly bemoaned
and attempted to rationalize the lack of protesters at the Rick
Santorum speech hosted by the Young Americans for Freedom chapter
at UVa last week. The Managing Board could not resist exercising
its near unlimited power by making bold and malicious accusations
against YAF.

As a proponent of free speech, I have no problem with the fact
that the Cavalier Daily and its overwhelming number of left-wing
writers and editors personally disagree with the beliefs of their
ideological adversaries on Grounds and express these sentiments in
their opinion section. However, the Managing Board of the Cavalier
Daily has developed a tendency to use its editorial page as a
progressive pulpit from which to launch anonymous and libelous
pot shots at non-progressive individuals and organizations at UVa,
which in turn has prompted me to respond on behalf of YAF.

Young Americans for Freedom at UVa was only established last
semester. Lucky for us, we escaped the same ideological bias
at Student Council that initially
denied the Burke Society CIO status
. During our few months of
existence, we have worked tirelessly to establish ourselves as
a thriving CIO on Grounds by holding weekly meetings, distributing
patriotic paraphernalia, writing articles for The Virginia
Advocate
, and hosting events like our September 11th
remembrance and the Rick Santorum program. We will be hosting
author and  former chair of the Virginia GOP, Kate Obenshain,
on November 7th.

Yet, if you listen to the students who run the CavDaily,
“Since hosting its first interest meeting in April, YAF has
spent most of its time on Facebook, where it posts racially
objectionable cartoons and, in McCarthyesque fashion, identifies
supposed Communists in Congress.”
 Rather than
composing themselves to at least feign civility and neutrality, the
CavDaily decided it was best to let their ideological bias shout
from the rooftops and resonate throughout these Grounds, cherry
picking out of context YAF Facebook posts from last summer out of
hundreds of others to describe how we have “spent most of [our]
time.”

As Chief Editor of the YAF chapter at UVa, I encourage you to
skim through
the top comments of the truly astounding editorial
. The readers
speak for themselves:

  1. Nick: “I do not know why you would say this except
    to demean YAF. Pointless jabs are not suitable for an informed
    discussion.”
  2. Mark: “This is a terrible excuse for an article.
    The ‘Managing Board’ should be ashamed of this article and others
    which consistently misrepresent and unfairly attack conservative
    minded students. The Cav Daily will continue on its streak of
    irrelevance until it can restore itself as a balanced news source
    for UVa students of all backgrounds.”
  3. patriotmom61: “This is the intolerance of the Left.
    Thank you, writer, for exposing the ignorant mindset that governs
    schools and universities across our fair land. Silly me, I thought
    higher education is supposed to expose students to varying
    worldviews as part of the educational experience.”
  4. Rebecca: “Cav Daily’s ‘Managing Board’ giving their
    extremely biased take? This article is absurd and completely
    unprofessional.”
  5. Ron: “. . . I don’t appreciate seeing the
    ‘managing board’ of Cavalier Daily publishing an opinion piece with
    so much liberal bias. As a student-run newspaper, the board should
    stay neutral on political issues/events and let the students submit
    op-eds . . .”

 

 The authors of “The virtues of not protesting” so greatly
misrepresented Mr. Santorum’s talk that I do not find it possible
that their sources even attended the speech. Santorum’s speech was
almost exclusively dedicated to a robust system of equal
opportunity, not only in socioeconomics, but also in education.
After his speech, Mr. Santorum devoted a significant amount of time
to answering questions from students of all ideologies, on issues
ranging from the living wage to gay marriage. By hosting Santorum,
the students involved in the UVa YAF chapter are the true believers
in education and the free exchange of ideas on campus, and I
encourage the CavDaily’s Managing Board to participate in the
dialogue we’re presenting.

Ryan Bartels is a student at the University of Virginia and chief editor of UVA Young Americans for Freedom. 

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