Vice President Pence is only one of four conservatives to give a commencement address this year at one of the nation’s top 100 colleges and universities, according to Young America’s Foundation. He is lucky. The refusal to invite conservative commencement speakers is mild compared to how universities treat conservative students on a daily basis.
This school year, conservative students have faced school administrators banning speakers, leftists taking control of their events while campus security does nothing, and schools preventing conservatives equal access to tap into their own student activity fees. Hardly a week goes by without a school violating students’ First Amendment rights.
When students brought Dinesh D’Souza to speak at Columbia University in February, as part of Young America’s Foundation’s D’Souza Unchained Lecture Series, the university prevented students not on the university’s pre-approved list from entering. Despite having plenty of seats in the auditorium, the university turned away students seeking a conservative viewpoint. Brandeis University and the Stevens Institute of Technology also enforced similar restrictions during D’Souza’s Young America’s Foundation sponsored lectures.
At Gettysburg College, administrators pulled funding for a YAF-sponsored lecture with Robert Spencer in April after the Gettysburg College Student Senate voted to fund it. The Young Americans for Freedom chapter gained all the necessary approvals. That was not enough for the dean of Gettysburg College, who claimed Robert Spencer is too “controversial” even though the university funded events featuring the radical leftist Bill Ayers, a porn star, and several members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In addition to not upholding students’ free speech rights, leftist administrators, including those at Berkeley, often do nothing to hold liberal agitators responsible for their actions.
When liberal students vandalized displays and flyers advertising conservative events at The George Washington University, administrators gave leftists a pass. Several leftist students vandalized and destroyed posters advertising an event with Christina Hoff Sommers in April — and were caught by YAF members in the act. Leftists also vandalized the YAF chapter’s pro-life display on campus earlier in the school year. When members of the YAF chapter reported these violations to the university, it only drew blank stares. The University continually refuses to take action or discipline any of the leftist vandals involved.
Similarly, at the University at Buffalo, administrators and authorities did nothing as leftist protestors shouted down a YAF lecture by Robert Spencer, effectively subverting the event. University authorities, including the chief of police and director of campus life, were present at the event and stood idly by as hecklers suppressed conservative speech.
At Cañada College in northern California, a mob of leftists shut down an event held by YAF students featuring Rabbi Daniel Lapin. The Rabbi was ironically labeled a “fascist” by the mob who refused to let him speak. The University did not even follow their own guidelines on preventing this type of disruption.
Universities are getting away with their unconstitutional and discriminatory actions, and conservative students need to fight back. It is incumbent on conservative students to expose their peers to conservative ideas and to resist university efforts to stop them. Key free speech victories can only be won if conservative students stand up to administrators and campus leftists.
At California State University, Los Angeles, for example, free speech won when the university agreed, in a settlement, to suspend their anti-free speech practices and activities against the Young Americans for Freedom chapter. This comes after they tried to cancel a speech by Ben Shapiro. In another victory, the University of Southern Maine backed down on imposing unconstitutional security fees for an event with a local conservative speaker.
The leftist orthodoxy and discriminatory policies on campuses nationwide would go unchallenged if conservative students refused to engage in activism or hold events with prominent conservatives, such as Ben Shapiro, Dinesh D’Souza, and Rabbi Daniel Lapin.
Young conservatives should not accept liberal bias as the new norm.
Grant Strobl is chairman of the University of Michigan chapter of Young Americans for Freedom & sits on Young Americans for Freedom Board of Governors.
Source: Red Alert Politics
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