Last week, the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter at UT Austin’s bold activism exploded in the media, earning coverage from dozens of outlets and sending their campus into an uproar.
A video obtained exclusively by YAF even documented social justice warriors stealing cookies from YCT’s table.
In the aftermath of the bake sale, YCT was targeted by campus leftists who circulated a petition to shut down the club. Even university administrators spoke out against the courageous conservatives of YCT.
On Tuesday, UT’s student government will vote on a motion to ban the Young Conservatives of Texas from campus.
But YCT is not backing down.
In a scathing letter sent directly to the president of the university, they issued a powerful statement on the importance of free speech.
We’ve posted the entire letter below. The full text is worth taking the time to read. Conservative students activists who are inclined to resist criticizing their own schools should take note: calling out professors and administrators can be done in a way that is professional, substantive, and impactful. For students who need to respond directly to their school president, this letter is an excellent template.
Never forget, however, that responding to the Left’s attacks on your chapter should involve more than just a statement or a letter. YCT, for instance, is hosting a YAF-sponsored lecture by Ben Shapiro this week.
Join us in congratulating the Young Conservatives of Texas for their bravery and supporting them in their efforts to stand up for conservative values.
UT Office of the President
Attn: President Gregory L. Fenves 110 Inner Campus Drive Stop G3400 Austin, TX 78712-3400
Dear President Fenves,
This correspondence is to provide notice to The University of Texas at Austin that if any punitive action is taken against the Young Conservatives of Texas chapter at The University of Texas at Austin (YCT-UT) or our members on account of their speech, we will take legal action against the University and all persons involved for deprivation of civil rights under 42 U.S. Code § 1983.
YCT-UT is a diverse group of Longhorns that is welcoming to all students regardless of race, ethnicity or any other immutable characteristics. Of the chapter’s previous five chairmen, three have been women, two have been Hispanic, and one has been an Asian American – all remarkably without affirmative action policies or quotas giving one student an advantage at the expense of another.
Nonetheless, University employees have attacked YCT-UT, calling it a “racist” organization because we speak out against policies that distinguish amongst students on the basis of race.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects more than just freedom of speech in the classroom. It protects more than just speech that is politically correct. It protects more than just speech that is approved by the UT administration. The First Amendment gives all Americans, including students, the right to protest laws and policies they disagree with.
University Code 13-204 (b)(2) explicitly protects such speech, stating: “To make an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea is not verbal harassment, even if some listeners are offended by the argument or idea.”
Since YCT-UT’s “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” demonstration last week there have been efforts by University employees and University-sanctioned entities to disband YCT-UT and punish its members on account of our speech. Some have gone as far as to call for the development of a “hate crime policy” that would punish students for holding similar demonstrations in the future.
The university would never consider barring a feminist group from holding a “Gender Pay Gap Bake Sale” on campus even though it would be a nearly identical event to the YCT-UT bake sale (although with a politically correct, left- wing message) that has been held on other campuses across the nation.
When students conducted an anti-2nd Amendment demonstration and openly taunted the university by brandishing sex toys in violation of Penal Code Chapter 43.23(f), the university took no action. Yet when YCT-UT conducts conservative demonstrations, administration officials openly condemn our speech and encourage angry and violent mobs to attempt to interfere with our events.
Young Conservatives of Texas will fight on behalf of its chapters and members against all infringements of our constitutionally protected civil rights. We do not want special treatment, only an even playing field to express our political beliefs.
Any policies adopted or embraced by the university that infringe upon those rights will be fought in court, in the legislature, and on campus.
UT Chapter, Young Conservatives of Texas