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SGA votes against recognizing controversial Young Americans for Liberty group

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The student senate voted against a resolution Wednesday night that would recognize a WSU chapter of Young Americans for Liberty — a libertarian free-speech group that some believe promotes hate speech.

The senate engaged in a passionate debate over the limits of free speech and the role of SGA in creating an accepting environment on campus.

Sen. Sandra Carlo was outspoken in her opposition of the resolution.

“Although I am someone who absolutely believes in free speech and activism and being able to speak up, what we have seen from this organization is dangerous,” Carlo said.

Young Americans for Liberty advocates for the First Amendment even when others worry the delicate line between free speech and hate speech has been crossed.

Various chapters across the nation have hosted controversial Breitbart News Tech Editor, Milo Yiannopoulos on his “Dangerous Faggot Tour,” speaking out against feminism and Black Lives Matter, and accusing LGBTQ individuals of blowing hate crimes out of proportion.

The national organization has neither publically endorsed nor condemned the actions of individual chapters on college campuses.

Sen. Timothy Dodd expressed his intolerance for hate speech, but voiced his belief that students endorsing a WSU chapter of Young Americans for Liberty deserved an opportunity to prove themselves.

“My stomach is in knots right now because this is a tough issue for me,” Dodd said. “I want to give this specific chapter of the organization a chance to show that libertarianism as a political philosophy doesn’t have to be pigeon-holed as racist and reactionary.”

WSU currently recognizes both College Republicans and College Democrats, but has no recognized Libertarian groups.

Still, some, such as Sen. Zubair Kahn felt the controversial legacy of the organization outweighed any positives it might bring to WSU.

“I think that if we want to have a libertarian organization on campus, there are other ways to do that,” Kahn said.

Ultimately, the majority of senators agreed, and the resolution failed by a vote of 8-16-5.

19 Comments
  • Karl Watson

    This is absolutely abhorrent, WSU SGA. This is political censorship from a public university. Expect to hear from Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

    [Reply]

  • Kevin

    YAL is not a Libertarian Party organization. It’s an organization that promotes liberty, free speech, free expression and supports rights for all people.

    If you classify speech that goes against your own world views as hate speech, then you do not understand what the first amendment is to protect. The first amendment protects all citizens’ rights the ability to freely express themselves.

    If SGA is creating a culture that threatens student’s rights to form social organizations just because they disagree with that groups worldviews, they are towing a very dangerous line that is counter to the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the way of life in our great and beautiful nation.

    [Reply]

  • jeremy harrell

    I’m glad that there will be a new SGA soon this group is clearly against free speech unless that free speech is far left in nature.

    [Reply]

  • Thomas Bradbury

    “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
    -John Stuart Mill

    [Reply]

  • Insider

    If a libertarian group wants to come to campus, they can work with the libertarian party, just like the college republicans and college democrats do.

    [Reply]

    John Sinclair Reply:

    They are a non-partisan group, and have absolutely no involvement whatsoever with the Libertarian Party of the United States. They cannot work with the Libertarian Party.

    [Reply]

  • Shane

    YAL is pretty much a joke. It has nothing to do with the Libertarian Party the main point of its existence is to provide a platform for losers that get off on making other people angry. SGA did the right thing here. I would support an actual Libertarian group on campus, but this is not that at all.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    That’s not true at all. I was a part of a YAL group at Friends University before. They had various meetings with guest speakers (mostly leaders within the city) who spoke about various aspects of government and leadership. They have community service opportunities. They also provide a forum for students to come and discuss/debate various topics in current events. But regardless, not letting this group on campus if students want to make it is a violation of free speech.

    [Reply]

  • Jay

    Why is SGA in charge of recognizing groups? At my school it’s an administrative process. You submit some paperwork, have a minimum amount of people, and have your officers go to training and you’re recognized. Why would you let a bunch of zealous students be in control of that process?

    [Reply]

  • John

    Wichita State is a taxpayer funded public university, which means YAL is protected under the 1st amendment. That means YAL can hold events on campus with or without SGA approval, and any attempt to silence them is in violation of the first amendment. Don’t believe me? Look up all the other cases of this happening throughout the country. Look up FIRE – they have an undefeated record in court. These SGA senators don’t really know what they are talking about, and they just successfully opened up their school for a lawsuit. Good job folks.

    [Reply]

  • Melissa

    In a nutshell, this is viewpoint discrimination and a form of censorship. As a organ of a public university the are violating the first amendment.

    It does not matter whether they are libertarian, reactionary, fascist, anti-feminist, or racist (not that any of these labels are accurate or fair). The First Amendment does not have an exception to any of these points of view when it comes to prior restraint.

    To help the students understand (which they plainly do not), during the 1950s and 1960s the government used its power to suppress and punish people and groups whose ideas they did not like including civil rights, antiwar, and Marxist viewpoints.

    Absent of constitutional protections, many positive changes would have been stalled or prevented. By blocking YAL, they are effectively preventing discussions and counterpoint for ideas they think they won’t like.

    [Reply]

  • Jim Langcuster

    Sandra Carlo, you pathetic snowflake, don’t you realize that free speech occasionally is dangerous? We’ve excelled as a society and as a civilization, until recently, at least, because we have been brave enough to subject ourselves to the antiseptic and refining qualities of free speech, even in cases when this exposure is painful.

    [Reply]

  • Thomas Paine

    Absolutely disgusting behavior by these craven & close-minded “senators”. These sheltered snowflakes are so frightened by the idea of free expression they must stifle opposing opinions wherever they appear. Thank goodness I graduated years before this Nazi-esque behavior strangled the life completely out of higher ed.

    [Reply]

  • Killer Marmot

    “Although I am someone who absolutely believes in free speech and activism and being able to speak up, what we have seen from this organization is dangerous,” Carlo said.

    Ask yourself this: When was the last time you stood up for the rights of people whose views you despised?

    If you can’t remember the last time then please spare me the “I believe in free speech, but” lectures, because you don’t.

    [Reply]

  • Lonny Wright

    We’ve learned that the local group with Liberty in their name is all about hate and attacking others. Daily twisting information to make others and their families look bad.
    It is one of the most disgraceful and embarrassing things about Wichita.

    [Reply]

  • Sam McCrory

    I could look the other way if Waffen-SS rounded up these 16 cucks for the camps.

    [Reply]

  • Richard

    This is why Wichita State has sunk to a tier 5 school. Eliminating free speech is the surest sign of weak minds.

    [Reply]

  • Shocker Til Dealth

    The GPA requirement for Student Government is obviously TOO LOW.

    [Reply]

  • blaine skin face

    people should be able to air their views. if those views can’t stand up to the light of day, then they can be argued down publicly.

    viewpoints that are dismissed outright as “hatefacts” or with “i can’t even. wow. just wow. it’s the current year” are worth hearing – because those objections are NOT an argument. they are CENSORSHIP.

    if the critical puritan “enlightened” folk are for censoring YAL, then i am interested in learning more about YAL.

    [Reply]

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