It’s no secret that university administrations are filled with ranks leftists–so this year, YAF is looking back on the top 8 PC offenses committed by universities and the powers that be within them in 2019.
8. Beloit College’s president encourages students to protest a lecture with Vice President Dick Cheney and YAF President-Elect Scott Walker
Just hours before Vice President Dick Cheney and Governor Scott Walker were slated to take the stage at Beloit College in Wisconsin, the university’s president sent a school-wide email encouraging students—who were upset that Cheney was speaking—to protest the event. “Many in our community have strong feelings at a foundational level with decisions Mr. Cheney has made from a variety of positions of power,” Beloit’s president wrote. “Many also disagree with ethical positions he has taken and the underlying philosophy he holds that govern those.” He went on to encourage a “thoughtful” response to the lecture, including “protesting visibly in a way that does not interfere with the speaker’s ability to speak and the audience’s ability to hear and engage the speaker.” It seems unlikely Beloit College President Scott Bierman would send a similar email the next time a far-left speaker is invited to speak on campus.
7. Stanford University administrators write a letter condemning YAF’s Andrew Klavan lecture, stating they are “deeply troubled” by his views and claim the posters advertising the speech intentionally disrespect the Muslim community.
The Vice Provost and Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University wrote a university-wide letter claiming administrators were “deeply troubled” by an upcoming Andrew Klavan lecture sponsored by YAF. They also accused the conservative students hosting the event of creating posters that intentionally disrespected the Muslim community and noted that they were “particularly dismayed that an event of this type is planned for the holy month of Ramadan.”
6. Rocky Mountain College tells YAF chapter pro-life display is too “divisive” for campus
The Dean of Students at Rocky Mountain College, Brad Nason, blocked a pro-life display being organized the school’s YAF chapter, claiming that the abortion issue was too “divisive” to allow. “If we allow a public display, we have effectively eliminated every student’s ability to choose to engage or not engage with that issue,” Nason wrote in an email to the YAF students. “The pro-life/pro-choice debate is incredibly divisive and in the College view, a public display is confrontational.”
5. University of Mississippi revokes venue for Elisha Krauss lecture days before event
Just days before YAF’s Elisha Krauss lecture was scheduled to take place, Ole Miss’ Overby Center yanked the venue for the YAF event, claiming it was a “mistake” that the venue was approved in the first place because the venue cannot be reserved by any “partisan or openly ideological student groups.” YAF discovered several ideological speakers have previously been hosted there, including a 2012 Mitt Romney campaign surrogate and a Democratic candidate for the Mississippi Senate. After YAF put pressure on the school by exposing this intolerance, the university administrators apologized to Krauss and helped the Ole Miss YAF chapter find a new, suitable venue, claiming the employee acted on his own behalf without approaching the university.
4. University of Pennsylvania revokes venue for Dinesh D’Souza lecture days before event, blocks public from attending
Just days before a YAF event featuring Dinesh D’Souza was scheduled to take place at UPenn, Vice Provost Valarie McCoullum revoked the venue and closed the event to the public citing safety concerns. After YAF exposed this administrator’s actions, the school found a new venue for the students, but still limited the event to university students and faculty only–apparently fearful of the potential impact conservative ideas on a liberal campus may have.
3. Santa Monica College enforces unconstitutional “free speech zones”
Young America’s Foundation uncovered unconstitutional “free speech zones” at Santa Monica College this year. Administrators at the school limit students’ free expression at their school to just over three hours a week in a so-called “activity hour,” in addition to allowing expression only in certain “free speech areas.”
2. Kennesaw State University professor forces students to attend pro-trans protest of Michael Knowles
Jalessah Jackson, a professor at Kennesaw State University, emailed her “Love and Sex” class to inform them that they were “expected” to attend a pro-trans protest of the KSU YAF chapter’s Michael Knowles lecture—in place of class. Forced attendance of a protest is unconstitutional, and after YAF reached out to Jackson regarding her email, she quickly backtracked and alleged participation in the protest was never mandatory to begin with, despite the language of her email saying otherwise.
1. Grand Canyon University Blocks Ben Shapiro
Grand Canyon University in Arizona blocked the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro from speaking at the school earlier this year, arguing that his presence would be “divisive” on campus and not good for the school. After pushback from conservatives across the country and negotiations with Young America’s Foundation, the school caved and reversed their decision, allowing Shapiro to speak in front of a sold-out crowd of thousands.
In 2019, YAF continued to hold the line in defending conservative students and free speech nationwide—ensuring that university administrators and faculty abide by the First Amendment and provide equal protection for conservative students.