When conservative students at the University of Kentucky (UK) wanted to establish a Young Americans for Freedom chapter, the young activists were denied official recognition as a student organization. Out of an evident personal dislike for conservative ideas, administrators wielded unfettered discretion in denying the YAF students recognition, despite admitting there was nothing “explicitly” objectionable or wrong with YAF’s constitution.
What unfolded internally within the University of Kentucky has now been uncovered via public records requests filed through Young America’s Foundation’s Censorship Exposed project.
Multiple attempts, at least six, at official recognition were made by the YAF activists over more than a year. The emails and instant messages obtained by YAF show students repeatedly asking about the status of their organization, requesting meetings, even stopping by the appropriate offices to seek an update on the approval process—all the while the administrators who are supposed to support students in their club activities mocked YAF and conservative students.
YAF’s constitution was problematic, according to UK officials, because they feared it didn’t sufficiently prevent discrimination, an ironic twist given the discrimination inflicted upon YAF at the hands of these administrators.
“The requirement to sign the Sharon Statement is what worries me,” remarked Caitlyn Walsh, the Assistant Director of Student Organizations in UK’s Office of Student Organizations and Activities. YAF “nationally seems sticky,” she remarked, adding she’s “struggling with this organization.”
These emails show personal bias, and the following instant messages demonstrate how this kind of personal bias can translate into viewpoint-discriminatory actions by unaccountable administrators. These less-polished communications provide an even closer look at the lengths to which campus leftists will go to obstruct a YAF chapter.
In one of several threads between Walsh and her colleague Meghan Jennings obtained by YAF, Walsh quotes the opening line from the Sharon Statement, to which Jennings responds “oh jesus tap dancing christ.” Walsh remarks that the YAF activists “are going to be mad they waited forever and i denied them whoops.”
In another instance, Walsh and Jennings couldn’t help themselves when the YAF leaders sought an explanation as to why their chapter was denied. “i didnt do it intetionally promise hehe,” Walsh writes. “riiiiiiiiight,” Jennings responds. “i did put a ‘data preservation’ spin on it lol.”