A community college in Illinois has instituted free speech training for professors and advisors following YAF’s New Guard reporting that a club advisor at the school plastered the campus with posters claiming the Young Americans for Freedom chapter was a hate group.
According to the YAF chapter chairman, Rob Corn, the Dean of Student Life at the College of Lake County emailed all professors and club advisors in early December informing them of new free speech training, just days after the incident involving a club advisor, Shannon Bassi. More than 100 people attended these 6 sessions.
A student activities director told Corn that the first question discussed at these sessions was whether or not the YAF chapter was a hate group, to which the school’s lawyers affirmed that the chapter was NOT a hate group, and has every right to exist on campus.
Young America’s Foundation obtained documents from the free speech training, including the presentation that was given.
“Avoid treating protected speech as actionable misconduct,” one presentation slide stated. “Expressions of hateful or offensive views do not constitute unlawful harassment, even if they offend listeners.” The presentation also encouraged club advisors to “assist students in navigating free speech issues, especially speech that may be controversial.”
“I think this is a major win for the conservative voices on our campus,” said Rob Corn, CLC YAF chapter chairman. “Conservative students at CLC deserve support, and the school administration is starting to recognize that.”