New York’s Syracuse University denied a grant for a conservative student group because the group asks students to believe in the U.S. Constitution.
The university insisted that the group would not get school funds because it was being “exclusionary” to “international students” because of the group’s fealty to the U.S. Constitution.
That’s right, Syracuse University denied school recognition for Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) because the school said that believing in the U.S. Constitution is “discrimination.”
According to Campus Reform:
The Syracuse Office of Student Activities denied YAF’s application, in part because members must support the “Sharon Statement,” which is a statement of support for the U.S. Constitution. Syracuse took issue with the Sharon Statement, alleging that adhering to it violates the college’s policy of non-discrimination.
“The Board considers the ‘Sharon Statement’ to be contradictory to Article XI Statement of Non-Discrimination,” Syracuse’s RSO Review Board stated in its rejection email to the group, according to documents obtained by Campus Reform. “Additionally, requiring students to agree in the superiority of the U.S. Constitution is exclusionary to international students and other individuals.”
The school’s board went on to attack YAF’s national association:
Additionally, Syracuse’s RSO Review Board took issue with the fact that Young Americans for Freedom is associated with its parent organization, Young America’s Foundation, which the board claims has “extensive control” over the former organization.
Young America’s Foundation has a “pattern” of promoting discourse through “inflammatory” means, according to the Board.
“The Board recognizes that the parent organization, Young America’s Foundation, has demonstrated a pattern of past practice of supporting discourse via printed materials and/or other means that are deemed inflammatory,” the Board stated in an email to the group’s president according to Campus Reform. “Specifically, products that are supplied free of charge, including the ‘Patriot Pack’ that illustrates an aircraft entering into the World Trade Center and inflammatory statements. The Board considers these materials to be contradictory to the educational mission of Syracuse University and in turn the purpose of a Recognized Student Organization.”
The student group slammed the anti-American school:
Koen Weaver, who is the group’s vice chairman, told Campus Reform, “while I understand the important job of the Office of Student Activities in confirming RSOs on campus, I am concerned by the bias and almost anti-Americanism displayed by our rejection.”
“I cannot fathom how an American University could find fault with students upholding and promoting the ideals of the U.S. Constitution,” Weaver added. “Calling the constitution non-inclusive, while completely ignoring the inflammatory rhetoric of the anti-Capitalist and anti-Israeli [rhetoric] of the university’s International Socialist Organization, shows the obvious political bias, if not the liberal indoctrination agenda of the Office of Student Activities.”
“It’s absolutely ludicrous for the RSO Review Board to suggest that any recognition of the Bill of Rights by a university club violates some rights of foreign students,” YAF’s Justine Murray said. “Interestingly, the reason many students from abroad come to study in the United States is because of our freedoms and the constitution that protects these freedoms. The Review Board is basically saying you cannot celebrate America.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.