EXCLUSIVE: Syracuse approves YAF chapter after previously calling U.S. Constitution 'exclusionary'
- Syracuse University initially rejected a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) group's application to become a registered student organization.
- Among the school's reasons was that the U.S. Constitution was "exclusionary."
- Syracuse approved YAF's request on Monday.
Syracuse University recognized its Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter on Monday, after having previously denied the group registered status, using a statement calling a belief in the superiority of the U.S. Constitution "exclusionary."
Jill Wulfenstein, program coordinator of Syracuse's office of student activities, alerted Justine Murray, president of the Syracuse YAF chapter of the decision in an email obtained by Campus Reform. The student group still has to attend an October orientation before recognition is officially granted.
The decision stands in stark contrast to the one handed down in February.
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"The Board considers the ‘Sharon Statement’ to be contradictory to Article XI Statement of Non-Discrimination,” Syracuse's RSO Review Board stated in an earlier rejection email to the group, 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.”
Also problematic for the board was YAF's relationship with its parent organization, Young America's Foundation, which it claimed exerts "extensive control" over student YAF chapters.
Young America's Foundation allegedly has a "pattern" of spreading messages through "inflammatory" means, says the board.
Campus Reform spoke with Murray, who is also a Campus Reform correspondent, about the reversal.
“I am delighted the University has finally allowed YAF on campus. After almost a year of contention and some insincere denials about bias against conservative voices, I believe the University may be coming around to recognize the need to introduce more diverse viewpoints into the dialogue on campus," Murray said. "I truly hope this is a new beginning here for free speech. And, of course, I want to again thank President Trump for his executive order earlier this year that defends free speech on American campuses.”
Murray noted that the YAF chapter only altered some logistical components of its constitution, but changed none of its stated values. She says the group also now has a faculty adviser.
Both the prior and current versions of the constitution call the U.S. Constitution "the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power."
Wulfenstein and Syracuse did not respond in time for publication when asked why the decision was reversed.
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