Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) activists at Binghamton University were notified Sunday that their work to gain official recognition as a student club had been halted by a “Constitutions Assistant” in the office of the Executive Vice President of Binghamton’s Student Association.
“I’ve looked over the Constitution for Young Americans for Freedom and I’ve noticed a part that can not be permitted to be in the Constitution,” explained the Student Association official in a message asking for a meeting “to discuss” the matter.
One of the YAF student activists sought clarification in response, noting that Binghamton YAF had been approved by a previous constitutions assistant.
The current constitutions assistant responded by highlighting the following line of the YAF chapter’s constitution: “That the forces of international Communism are, at present, the greatest single threat to these liberties; That the United States should stress victory over, rather than coexistence with, this menace;”
“These lines are problematic and can not be part of the Constitution,” the official wrote, before asking if it’s possible for the YAF activists “to amend this part.”
The line called “problematic” is straight out of the Sharon Statement—drafted at the Connecticut home of William F. Buckley Jr. in 1960—which is regarded as the “declaration of principles of modern conservatism” by the Washington Post.
It’s befuddling why anyone in American academia would have a problem with stating opposition to communism—the system under which tens of millions of innocent people were starved, tortured, or worked to death in the last century. Yet several Young Americans for Freedom chapters have been blocked or faced discrimination from campus authorities because of YAF’s bold stand against communism.
Binghamton University, a public institution, has an obligation to uphold the First Amendment rights of its students, including the freedom to associate with likeminded peers and speak boldly against communism and other totalitarian systems.
For additional information or to request an interview contact YAF spokesman Spencer Brown via firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-872-1776.