Skip to comments.Christian university prevents students from starting conservative group
Posted on 10/10/2012 4:36:46 PM PDT by markomalley
A Christian university blocked conservative students from forming a Young Americans for Freedom chapter on campus last week.
Azusa Pacific, a private Christian university near Los Angeles, California, took issue with divisive language on the website of YAF, an advocacy group for college-aged conservatives. University officials also feared that replacing the existing conservative student club with a YAF-affiliated one would limit membership options for students.
A spokesperson clarified that while students were free to associate with YAF, no official relationship would be permitted to exist.
They can associate with YAF, were just not wanting a formal chapter on our campus, said Rachel White, assistant director of public relations at Azusa Pacific, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The universitys position came as quite a surprise to Patrick Coyle, executive director of YAF.
There is no legitimate reason for them to reject having a YAF chapter on campus, he said in an interview with The DC News Foundation.
YAF is a project of the Young Americas Foundation. Its website describes YAFs nationwide campus activities as follows:
Are you tired of liberal ideas dominating your campus? Are you tired of liberal and Marxist professors indoctrinating your classmates? Do you want to advance conservatism?
If you answered yes, then you should start a Young Americans for Freedom chapter. YAF chapters make a difference by boldly advancing freedom and conservatism. Radical feminists, big government bureaucrats, fringe environmentalists, race-baiters, Islamo-fascists, and run of the mill leftists are distraught that you would even think about promoting conservative ideas.
This language disqualified the organization from official recognition, according to White.
We were concerned with some of the divisive language that the organization uses and some of its political activism, she said. We dont feel like that was a good mix for our campus because we are working to have a college environment that has a unity in Christ and is not divisive.
Administrators made the decision to reject the YAF chapter based on input from faculty members, including Jennifer Walsh, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and a political science professor at Azusa Pacific. Walsh said that YAFs mission was ill-suited to Azusa Pacific, because conservative students do not face a hostile, politically liberal campus.
It just seemed to be language that was designed to help students who are facing a hostile learning environment on secular campuses where conservative voices are hard to find, or their views are attacked openly, and thats not the kind of environment we have on campus, she said in an interview with The DC News Foundation.
But according to student Ashley Blackwell, the university isnt as welcoming to conservatives as administrators and faculty think that it is. Blackwell leads the current conservative club for students, and pushed for the group to gain YAF affiliation. Though she did not respond to requests for comment, she described Azusa Pacifics environment as liberal in an interview with the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
Walsh maintained that as a private university, Azusa Pacific was within its rights to prohibit group activities that it deemed counter to its mission.
As a private university, especially a Christian-centered university, there are a lot of things we dont promote or endorse or support, so if we had students come to us and want to start an atheists club, well that contradicts our mission as a Christ-centered university, she said.
But the universitys acceptance of public funding prevents it from being entirely private, said Coyle.
The only true private institutions of higher learning are Hillsdale College and Grove City, which truly reject all forms of public funding, he said.
If a university restricts the activities of its student groups, that university does not respect free speech, he said.
Students should reject any forms of censorship, and it should be students, not administrators, who decide which clubs are formed and which ones succeed, he said.
I would wonder if any other politically-oriented groups are accepted, or if only this one is rejected.
I bet that private Christian college has Democratic groups and Pro Sodomite groups, but now they are going to prohibit real American patriotic students from forming a student group.
That college has no right to limit their student’s conservative expression.
There is a conservative club on campus, its on the schools website.
This issue is “should the already conservative group on campus be officially associated with YAF”.
Excellent opportunity for the YAF students to RAISE HELL..
Burn a couple Communist Christians in effigy.. after hanging Him AND Her..
“Divisive language” is code for “stuff we disagree with.”
Colleges and Universities should also not be taking money from students to fund these clubs, let the students fund the clubs they actually join.
” We were concerned with some of the divisive language..”
Divisive ? All you need to know about this lady.
” I would wonder if any other politically-oriented groups are accepted, or if only this one is rejected. “
No....you don’t wonder any more than I do.
But in suppressing conservatives, isn't the institution creating precisely that sort of environment?
The language is certainly LESS divisive than any liberal group on campus I ever heard of.
The solution is so simple: if you do not like the PRIVATE college’s policy, do not attend it. Nobody is forcing you to attend that college. Why trample on the private college’s rights by forcing it to have these clubs against its wishes.
What a dang shame. They probably allow conservative groups on USC and UCLA, but they can’t have one in a Christian College? How backwards is that.
They have allowed such groups at USC--I was with USC YAF. UCLA had a John Birch Society chapter in the 1990's, but it wasn't an official campus group.
That's the spirit. spend a lot of time searching out schools and going through the application and admission process. Then find out as the academic year starts, the school pulls the plug on your activities. So lose an academic semester, tuition, and pick up and go elsewhere. Such a pragmatic idea. Wish I though of it.
False teachers always use the “division” con on dissenters. Division, proper, is departing from “the faith once for all delivered to the saints”, from “sound teaching”, from agreement with God concerning sin.
I’m not saying the university is false (I know nothing about them), just that “unity” vs “division” all depends on your definitions.
The secular world today attaches the word “christian” to anything and everything. NO “christian” college would turn away a conservative group.
So, occupy the President’s office, call the TV stations, and stay there until the cops show up with clubs, handcuffs, and arrest everyone for wanting conservative freedom. Then do it again. And again. Repeat.
It’s worse than losing a semester.
You go to a school for 2 years and try to transfer and you will ‘lose’ many credits and have to deal with enough issues that you will have to be in school another year ... that’s another $30,000 a student is out and one more year to graduate.
This is why and how liberal intimidation on campus works. The leftists have engaged in biased hiring of their own and weed out ‘threats’ to their point of view. They stifle and mock conservatives. They indoctrinate and intimidate students. Students are forced to tolerate the intolerance.
(And don’t forget Christendom among that elite group of universities that accept no public funding)
Not sure what you are exactly referring to, but Azusa Pacific does take Federal Grants and also is involved in the Federal financial aid program. A-P accepts public federal funding, although it is not a “state” institution
Outside of Hillsdale College, there are few private schools that do not receive any federal financial aid or grants
By accepting any federal aid, they are subject to following all of the rules, regulations, and federal laws regarding schools and education.
There is only one other -- Grove City College in Pennsylvania.
Another relatively new school may have joined that short list -- Ave Maria in Florida.
Hillsdale, Grove City, Christendom, and Wyoming Catholic College (a VERY new institution in Lander, Wyoming) do not take federal aid. Don’t know others that don’t.
Sadly, Ave Maria does do federal aid.
He’s talking about Christendom College in Front Royal, VA
I think Berea College in KY doesn’t accept any either since they don’t charge tuition.
I believe faith-based schools aren’t required to admit/hire someone based on sexual orientation or creed.
Actually, the Higher Education Act has specific exceptions for federal guidelines for private religious universities, including that they may discriminate in their hiring practices and official affiliations based upon their faith, which is exactly why YAF was turned down. Anyone who thinks APU is liberal knows nothing of the institution. It skews very conservative compared to 99% of US institutions. Liberal vs. conservative had nothing to do with this. This is a secular organization trying to infiltrate a religious campus. That’s the story that should be told here.
You talk as if you have rights to a college education, especially an education given by a private institution. It is YOUR responsibility to go through finding the “perfect” school, including the school that supports the future clubs you will like to choose.