UPDATED: Sewanee CR’s allegedly suspended for 9/11 display
The Sewanee: University of the South College Republicans chapter has reportedly been suspended after continuing with its annual “9/11: Never Forget Project,” despite being denied permission to do so.
On Friday, the CR’s say they tried to get approval from the Dean of Students Office in order to display the sponsored posters around campus, but the request was denied, and the club was told that the posters could not be posted because they might “invoke hate towards Muslims.”
The posters could not be posted because they might “invoke hate towards Muslims.”
The club then reached out to the Associate Dean of Students in an attempt to get more information and reasoning as to why their request was denied.
After two days without a response from the Dean or a chance to appeal the decision, the Sewanee CR’s moved forward with their memorial plans, posting two of the Young America’s Foundation posters in their campus dining hall.
Sewanee CR President Amir Kamrani told Campus Reform that the posters were “not graphic,” nor did they “promote any hate or violence against any religion, country, or group.”
On Monday, the Associate Dean of Students notified the club that their chapter had been suspended as a result of posting the posters.
“This is a clear example of punishing a student organization for not giving in to the university administration's demand to censor its students,” Kamrani said.
This event comes after a string of on campus vandalism occurrences involving the YAF project. Saddleback College, Occidental College, and the University of Florida all had their posters or memorials vandalized by dissenters.
UPDATE: University spokespersons told Campus Reform that the CRs have been temporarily reinstated pending further investigation into the matter. Campus Reform will continue to monitor the situation for further developments.
UPDATE 2: Campus Reform has received a statement from other members of the CR chapter disputing the account given by Kamrani. According to the statement, Kamrani's term as chapter president ended in April, and the Executive Officers elected to serve for the 2016-2017 school year contend that he acted without the consent of the group. Campus Reform has reached out to Kamrani for comment, and is currently awaiting a response.
Campus Reform also received a statement from a spokesperson for Sewanee explaining that the CR's were permitted to go through with an annual display of American flags for 9/11, during which the poster in question was seen displayed on a table. The university maintains that there was an internal dispute over the inclusion of the poster, but that "the club has been appropriately working through that disagreement."
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