After Young America’s Foundation exposed the school’s resistance to sanctioning a Young Americans for Freedom chapter, Samford University president Andy Westmoreland issued a response to the viral news coverage of the story.
Westmoreland referred to the reports as “misrepresentations” of his faculty’s actions because the school did not “reject” the chapter, it only deferred its application.
He also claimed his faculty members who questioned the prospective YAF students were simply trafficking in hypotheticals in order to “clarify” the Sharon Statement’s famously anti-communist message.
This is false.
The email below was sent to student Karalee Geis, a senior at Samford who is attempting to start the chapter, by members of the faculty after they rejected her efforts in a meeting.
It could not be any clearer- Samford put in writing its opinion that the anti-communist sentiments in the Sharon Statement are “inflammatory” and “exclusive” and needed to be “amended” or “justified.” That is not hypothetical.
We did not initially intend to publish that message, but feel compelled to document the truth about Samford’s rejection of Young Americans for Freedom.
Despite their claims they did not “reject” the chapter, but simply deferred the application, they did, of course, deny Geis’ efforts to be sanctioned this semester. That constitutes a rejection by definition.
We do not wish to engage in a public back and forth with Samford University but wanted any concerned alumni or prospective students and parents to know that the university is not accurately depicting its own actions.
We appreciate President Westmoreland’s enthusiastic embrace of capitalism and his reassurance that Samford is not “a bastion of support for Communism.”
We wish to see the university as a natural ally for our cause, but will not allow it to misrepresent the actions of its faculty in order to repair a public relations crisis.
Thankfully, we have worked towards a solution with the university that will allow the YAF chapter to move forward without altering any language in the Sharon Statement. Unfortunately, the university maintains that the earliest the chapter will be approved is May, just as Karalee graduates.
She will not be able to enjoy the fruits of her labor.
Furthermore, there’s no guarantee the chapter will ever be approved.
If Young America’s Foundation can ever be of any assistance to you or your child, please do not hesitate to call us at 800-872-1776.
The entire Sharon Statement is copied below for your reference.
The Sharon Statement
In this time of moral and political crises, it is the responsibility of the youth of America to affirm certain eternal truths.
We, as young conservatives, believe:
That foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;
That liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;
That the purpose of government is to protect those freedoms through the preservation of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice;
That when government ventures beyond these rightful functions, it accumulates power, which tends to diminish order and liberty;
That the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power;
That the genius of the Constitution—the division of powers—is summed up in the clause that reserves primacy to the several states, or to the people, in those spheres not specifically delegated to the Federal government;
That the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs;
That when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation; that when it takes from one man to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both;
That we will be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies;
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; and
That American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?