Liberty University Bars College Democrats, Democrats to Apologize
Earlier this month, the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University decided to decertify its chapter of the Campus Democrats club. This means the group cannot use Liberty University's name on any of its materials, can't advertise events on campus, and can't use any university funds. Why? Because its parent organization, the national Democratic Party, "supports abortion, federal funding of abortion, advocates repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, promotes the 'LGBT' agenda, Hate Crimes, which include sexual orientation and gender identity, socialism, etc".
Rachel Maddow goes into more detail:
These idiots are going to be sued, have their tax exempt status revoked, or both. Americans United for Separation of Church and State laid out a pretty solid case as to why what Liberty did was illegal, and has filed a formal complaint to the IRS. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), however, states that it's entirely within Liberty's rights as a private university to do so - once again, property rights discourse trumps all other legal arguments with them.
Reaction to the decision has been almost universally condemned. Young Democrats of America has set up a petition you can sign here.
Today the club members met with Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. to negotiate how the club may be recognized again. And one of the conditions Liberty is setting is a public apology:
After meeting with Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. today, members of Liberty University’s Campus Democrats club said they are developing a proposal that would let the club regain officially recognized status while promoting a pro-life agenda.
The club also is drafting an apology to the school and a retraction of some statements it made to the news media last week after the university revoked the club’s official recognition.
Maria Childress, the club’s staff adviser, said Falwell and other administrators criticized the club for its comments to the news media. A meeting of club representatives and university administrators lasted almost two hours today.
And the Administration has made it clear that they aren't budging when it comes to funding - which is likely to be the crux of any court case against them. Those clever Dems! They must know that classic maxim, "power concedes nothing without groveling apologies."
I've included the entire "cease and desist" letter the club got from the Liberty administration:
I must inform you that the College democrats' club is no longer going to be recognized as a Liberty University club. We are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by Liberty University. I expressed these concerns when we met, earlier in the spring semester.
The Liberty Way states, "It is the duty of every student to respect Liberty's Statement of Doctrine and Purpose. They may not engage in any activity on or off campus that would compromise the testimony or reputation of the University or cause disruption to Liberty's Christian learning environment."
The Liberty University School of Law had been working on a policy to govern their clubs and organizations for quite some time. They have now completed that policy and we have adopted it for Liberty University as well. Now that it has been adopted and will apply to all clubs and organizations, it is clear that this club does not comply.
Below is a copy of the policy which governs clubs and organizations at Liberty University. This policy is posted on the website.
"STUDENT CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS POLICIES
Student clubs or organizations must request and receive permission from the Liberty University administration before they may meet on campus, advertise, distribute or post materials, or use any University facilities for their activities or events. All such clubs or organizations and their activities or events must be consistent with the University's mission, and must be and remain in compliance with the Liberty Way, the Honor Code, and any policies or procedures promulgated by the University. The University reserves the right to refuse the use of its facilities for any reason to any student club, organization, activity or event.
Consistent with the Honor Code, all students, student clubs and organizations, faculty and staff of Liberty University, have a responsibility to uphold the moral and ethical standards of this institution and personally confront those who do not.
No student club or organization shall be approved, recognized or permitted to meet on campus, advertise, distribute or post materials, or use University facilities if the statements, positions, doctrines, policies, constitutions, bylaws, platforms, activities or events of such club or organization, its parent, affiliate, chapter or similarly named group (even if the similarly named group is not the actual parent, affiliate or chapter) are inconsistent or in conflict with the distinctly Christian mission of the University, the Liberty Way, the Honor Code, or the policies and procedures promulgated by the University."
Even though this club may not support the more radical planks of the democratic party, the democratic party is still the parent organization of the club on campus. The Democratic Party Platform is contrary to the mission of LU and to Christian doctrine (supports abortion, federal funding of abortion, advocates repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, promotes the "LGBT" agenda, Hate Crimes, which include sexual orientation and gender identity, socialism, etc). The candidates this club supports uphold the Platform and implement it. The candidates supported are directly contrary to the mission of LU. By using LU or Liberty University and Democrat in the name, the two are associated and the goals of both run in opposite directions.
We are removing the club from the Liberty website and you will need to cease using Liberty University's name, including any logo, seal or mark of Liberty University. They are not to be used in any of your publications, electronic or internet, including but not limited to, any website, Facebook, Twitter or any other such publication.
If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
VP for Student Affairs