Virginia university blocks College Republicans from campaigning for Glenn Youngkin
Washington and Lee University told their College Republicans club that they could not campaign for gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin just days before the Virginian election.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent a letter to the university demanding that Republicans promote their preferred candidate after student activities director Kelsey Goodwin allegedly told club president Lillian Gillespie about campaigning material for Youngkin at the annual activity to remove fair in September because they could risk the private university's tax exemption.
"I was shocked to find out we couldn't distribute campaign materials on campus," said Gillespie. "I hope that publishing this story will give the students on both sides of the aisle more freedom of action and freedom."
TEAM YOUNGKIN PROVIDES MEMBERS TO STAY WITH THE MESSAGE WHEN THEY ARE ALLOWED TO SPEAK ON THE STRATEGY CALL
FIRE had previously sent a letter on Sept. 23 urging Washington and Lee to respect student freedom of speech, pointing out that the college would not break its taxes as long as political support from a college organization was in place or an individual would come. Exemption status.
"Although W&L is a private institution that is not bound by the First Amendment, it must fulfill the promises it makes regarding student expression," said FIRE.
A spokesman for Washington and Lee told the Washington Examiner that the university's guidelines on campus political activity "have long been established and are implemented in a fair and impartial manner" and "protect the university's nonprofit status."
"W&L is a longtime advocate of freedom of expression and in December 2015 it passed the Chicago Principles confirming freedom of expression," the statement said. "The university's interpretation of the IRS code in this case applies to the distribution of campaign material on campus, but is not intended to violate the opinions of individual students or employees."
Gillespie had several meetings with college officials, including Goodwin, who said the university never allowed student groups to stand up for political candidates.
Under Washington and Lee guidelines, student political clubs “are not prohibited from conducting their normal activities consistent with the academic nature of their endeavors,” but when holding a political event they must establish “that the purpose of the event is education and "means no approval (or rejection) of a candidate by the university."
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But FIRE claimed that the club was inherently political and should be allowed to stand up for partisan candidates.
"What is the purpose of college Republican or college Democrat organizations if they can't really stand up for a Republican or a Democrat?" Asked FIRE program analyst Sabrina Conza. “Goodwin is wrong in its assessment of the law, and the university is wrong in keeping silent after censoring students who want to participate in the political process. Now they have to do it right. "
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Tags: News, Higher Education, Virginia, FIRE, Glenn Youngkin, Education, College Republicans, Campaigns, Free Speech
Original Author: Virginia Aabram
Original Location: The University of Virginia prevents college Republicans from signing up for Glenn Youngkin. to apply
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