GW YAF for Life

Originally published on 

By Amanda Robbins

Recently, my conservative student organization at the George
Washington University spoke out against mandatory LGBT sensitivity
training, requesting exemptions for our religious members. Our
classmates our now demanding that the organization be defunded,
classifying us as a hate group, and calling our request “an act of

The same classmates who have ceaselessly berated us for years
are calling us a hate group and claiming that we’re intolerant of
their lifestyles? The same classmates who anonymously
vandalized our quiet pro-life memorial last April, screamed down
our speaker at an event, and  are now comparing us to

But we’re the intolerant ones? Maybe our liberal peers need
sensitivity training for getting along with conservatives.

According to The GW Hatchet, the LGBT training would “teach
student leaders about gender identities  and sexualities.” The
training would also reportedly teach student leaders about “using
proper gender pronouns.” After the students complete the training,
according to the bill, their organizations would be labeled “safe
zones” for LGBT students.

After the student newspaper approached our group, my
co-President gave an interview where she assured the reporter that we were not upset by the decision
to hold these training sessions. We were simply requesting an
exemption for us as an organization based on Christian principles.
GW YAF never objected to the training, we only asked that we
wouldn’t be forced to attend.

Almost immediately after the article in The GW Hatchet was
posted, we were subjected to a flurry of attacks from our peers. They called us a “hate group,”
“bigots,” “disgusting,” “gross,” “ignorant,” “intolerant,” a “cesspit” and a “cancer.” One
commenter said, “These people are ISIS.” All this unfolded because we calmly asked the university
to respect our organization’s religious principles. Principles that much of the country still

GW Allied in Pride submitted a statement via Facebook saying
that we should be revoked of all university funding because the
Student Association should consider us a “hate group.” They
continued their statement by calling GW YAF’s exemption request as
“an act of violence” for our refusal to use “preferred gender

Our nation’s campuses are spiraling out of control. George
Washington University is currently a hostile environment for
conservative students. We do not feel comfortable at the university
we pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend– A place where we
thought we would be able to exercise our freedom of speech in order
to engage with our classmates in rational debates about our
differing opinions. 

Sadly, that was nothing more than a fantasy. Real debate no
longer occurs in the university setting. Any whiff of moderate
dissent is automatically shut down by being labeled “hate

When will the university ask our liberal classmates to be
tolerant of our opinions? When will it show an interest in
fostering a healthy sense of ideological diversity on campus?

We didn’t even speak out against LGBT sensitivity training. We
simply requested a religious exemption from it. And were called
bigots for doing so. One commenter even referred to us as a

What’s the real cancer on our nation’s campuses? The few
remaining conservative students who respectfully voice their
opinions? Or the liberal students and administrators who create an
environment that makes fair minded debate impossible? 

If universities across the nation truly hope to create an
environment where all views and backgrounds are valued, they will
fix the underlying issue of intolerance against those who hold
conservative views. Starting with GW.

Amanda Robbins is the Co-Chair of GW-YAF


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