Admin Blocks YAF ‘Funeral For Halloween’ Claiming it Would Cause ‘Emotional and ...
Authored By Emily Jashinsky
October 31, 2016
Admin Blocks YAF ‘Funeral For Halloween’ Claiming it Would Cause ‘Emotional and Psychological Harm’
Last Friday an administrator at the University of Redlands blocked Redlands Young Americans for Freedom’s (YAF) attempts to host the “Funeral for Halloween” activism initiative, citing the “emotional and psychological harm” it could allegedly cause students.
The Funeral for Halloween, Young America’s Foundation’s latest activism event, is designed to protest the politically correct restrictions on costumes that commit “cultural appropriation” implemented by university administrators across the country in recent years.
In an email to the chairwoman of Redlands YAF, Assistant Director of Student Activities Dan Burfeind informed the chapter it could not host the event because, “The program and flyer [the chapter] presented to us will leave to emotional and psychological harm to students, especially given the current campus climate.”
Burfeind’s communications with Redlands YAF Chairwoman Gina Macisaac are included below.
Macisaac provided Burfeind with a copy of the “obituary” the chapter planned to distribute as part of the mock funeral. The obituary, which was written by Young America’s Foundation and posted in the online guide to hosting the funeral, personifies Halloween and Political Correctness in order to satirize the ways in which universities restrict students from exercising their free speech on the holiday.
A copy of Redlands YAF’s proposed obituary can be seen below.
Stunningly, Burfeind attached a copy of the school’s “Student Protests/Demonstrations Policy” to his rejection email. The policy clearly boasts about the school’s respect for the First Amendment, reading, “In adhering to the principles and foundations of a liberal arts university, and in adherence with the spirit and intent of the First Amendment, the university supports the rights of students to express their viewpoints in a peaceful manner that neither includes destruction of property nor hinders the operations of the university.”
The ways in which YAF’s Funeral for Halloween could possibly violate this policy are difficult to imagine.
In a subsequent email to Macisaac, Burfeind attempted to clarify his denial, writing, “If you would like to have protest with a clearer message, like ‘PC culture needs to end’ or something to that effect that you can. The intent of your protest should be to educate not to insight frustration/anger in people.”
The implication of Burfein’s message seems to be at odds with his school’s own free speech policy, essentially arguing that any demonstration that incites “frustration/anger” in students is not allowed.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely Burfeind would ever enforce these selective and narrow restrictions on a liberal group proposing to host an event that could cause “frustration” or “anger” in conservative students.
Furthermore, any campus wherein people are caused “emotional and psychological harm” because of a satirical obituary for a holiday is one that should seriously reevaluate the maturity of its student body.
Thankfully, thousands of students across the country were exposed to YAF chapters’ Funeral for Halloween memorials Monday. Even Good Morning America highlighted the event as proof that the anti-political correctness movement was “gaining traction” nationwide.