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.”
Again trying to justify their personal animosity toward conservative ideas and YAF’s presence on campus, Walsh goes after the Sharon Statement saying, “i feel lik ethe sharon statement is probs not inclusive… must find it.” Upon finding the Sharon Statement on YAF’s website Walsh comments that “it feels tricky but doesnt seem explicitly discriminatory.”
Walsh and her colleague Jennings show again—in their own words—how biased they are against conservatives while admitting their reservations about YAF and the Sharon Statement aren’t based in fact.
In another conversation, Walsh shared a story about recent actions by leftist students and administrators at Santa Clara University to deny their students’ attempt to form a YAF chapter, then began fantasizing about how UK, too, could kick YAF off-campus. “i like how we do it,” comments Jennings.
Indeed, campus leftists “like” the power they wield to keep conservatives from freely organizing and sharing their ideas. Censorious administrators populate campuses nationwide, relying on their largely unaccountable positions to allow wanton discrimination against their ideological opponents.
When light is shed on their actions and words, a troubling picture emerges. Staffers at the University of Kentucky ought to be held accountable for their actions, and conservative students ought to know just how contemptible administrators find them.
Tell University of Kentucky President Capilouto today that discrimination against conservative students is unacceptable!
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