Photo Credit: Ed Bierman [CC BY 1.0]

Senators at Santa Clara University voted to block the recognition of a Young Americans for Freedom chapter, with some citing “emotional harm” and a “history of harm towards the LGBTQ+ community,” according to the Senate minutes obtained by Young America’s Foundation.

The student senate at SCU voted for a second time last week to block the Young Americans for Freedom chapter from being recognized at the school.

Raul Orellana, an At-Large Senator, told the YAF chapter “you do have a history of harm towards the LGBTQ+ community.” He inquired that he “wanted to know how your stance on safety and traditional values is supposed to include everyone with your history of emotional and mental harm to this community.”

Another senator, Hiwad Haider, took issue with the YAF chapter promoting legal immigration, arguing “if you are going to celebrate legal immigration, that does not meet the Jesuit values of community and inclusivity. It does not celebrate undocumented immigrants.” He later went on to disparage YAF speaker Ben Shapiro:

“Ben Shapiro is probably one of the most Islamophobic people. If they bring him to campus, I don’t want to go here anymore…these impacts do have emotional harm and I can’t feel good about that and I can’t tolerate that.”

So much for the left being the warriors of tolerance.

The final vote tally, which was 13-13, did not meet the required 2/3 quota for approval.

One senator shared a statement from a concerned SCU student:

“I also think the presence of YAF would further marginalize minority students on campus and if anything makes minority students feel more unsafe or targeted. What struck me, as a woman who is often labeled as an immigrant by white people, even though I was born here, is ‘sharing inspiring stories with legal immigrants’ which is very high on the initiatives list. First of all, no human is legal on stolen land. Secondly, sharing these stories is unnecessary and is YAF’s way of trying to slight or undermine undocumented immigrants, which in turn will target undocumented students, faculty, and staff on this campus. Also, Ben Shapiro has been known to spew hate speech, and I know that the school loves to preach about Leonard’s Law, but hate speech continues to perpetuate bigotry and insensitivity and racism… honestly this club would not make me too safe at SCU and not proud to call myself a Bronco.”

A few senators came to the defense of recognizing the YAF chapter. Rory Pannkuk said, “I do think though, that how we vote tonight will have an impact on conservative students on campus and what that says to them about having free speech on campus.” Another senator, Nina Molanphy, said “I feel like we are doing a disservice to our student body if we are removing this voice,” while encouraging fellow senators who disagree to go to YAF’s events and engage in a dialogue. “They have a right to be here.”

There are three basic requirements for a student organization to be recognized at SCU, according to the Senate Chair: No significant overlap with another club on campus, meeting the minimum required 15 students interested and following all school policies, state, and government laws.

“I was never a physical or emotional threat to any of these Senators until I deigned to disagree with them—It speaks to their character that they’re willing to act so dishonestly to suppress the views of people who don’t fall in line with their radical intersectional-Marxist agenda,” said Quinn Eibert, leader of the Santa Clara University YAF chapter. “I hope that nobody else at Santa Clara University, or anybody anywhere else in the country, has to go through this nightmare—having my legal rights and basic decency so egregiously violated is not how I envisioned my college experience. ”

The YAF chapter has met all three of these requirements, yet the student senate has voted them down twice. It seems that the senators can’t put aside their ideological biases to promote free speech and freedom of expression on their campus.

The YAF chapter is set to meet with the provost of the university about overriding the Senate’s vote Monday afternoon.


For additional information or to request an interview contact YAF Spokesman Spencer Brown via sbrown@yaf.org or 800-872-1776. 

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