Young Americans for Freedom, the national conservative organization with college chapters across the country, last night launched a campaign against Stony Brook University, claiming that the “leftist administration” is discriminating against conservatives by denying the Stony Brook chapter funding.
“Support Stony Brook University YAF’s battle against this liberal suppression of conservatism today!” urges a web page set up by the national YAF organization, before asking visitors for donations of up to $1,000.
Daniel Diaz, the executive director of YAF, said that Stony Brook’s failure to fund the campus chapter was troubling if not necessarily surprising.
“We’ve had similar situations at Palm Beach State College,” he said. In that case, the YAF chapter was removed from the student activities center because the club had set up a table at an event even though it was not an officially recognized student organization, a policy the college enforces with all student organizations. At the time, Diaz was the president of the Florida YAF.
And like the case at Palm Beach State, Stony Brook University could soon find itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit.
“We will be taking legal action,” said Diaz on Friday afternoon, without getting into specifics. Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday afternoon.
It’s unclear where any violations of the law took place, however. The Undergraduate Student Government has a very strict set of requirements that all student organizations have to meet in order to be recognized as an official club, and the process to secure funding is even more stringent. YAF contends they were forced to change their mission statement because it too closely mirrored the mission statement of the College Republicans. It would not be the first time the USG denied a club recognition because another club already existed that served a similar or identical purpose.
As for funding, USG clubs are not eligible for a line budget until at least their third semester. YAF’s campus chapter has only been active for two semesters, and wouldn’t qualify regardless.
A legal victory is probably not the end goal, however. In the case of Palm Beach State, the media attention that surrounded the legal proceedings was enough to force some concessions from the administration there. And while we fully acknowledge that we’re providing the same type of coverage now, our hope is that this time, we can make sure that a conservative club doesn’t bully its way past the same red tape that all the rest of us faced.
In the off chance, however, that a lawsuit is how to go about securing much-needed funding on this campus, Think Magazine has started a campaign of our own.
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