Azusa Pacific University Censors Conservative Students
Azusa Pacific University has blocked students from forming a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, which is a project of Young America’s Foundation. Administrators said they are banning the group because they disagree with principles stated on YAF’s national website.
Ashley Blackwell, the would-be chair of the chapter, is currently the chair of a generic conservative club at APU and wants to formally affiliate with YAF. Ashley and other key members of her club have attended a number of Foundation conferences both in Washington, D.C., and at the Reagan Ranch, which Young America's Foundation has owned and preserved since 1998.
In a conversation I had with Chuck Strawn, executive director of “communiversity” at Azusa, he and other administrators expressed disagreement with language used on the Foundation’s website, and therefore Blackwell and her fellow students couldn’t be affiliated with YAF. Strawn admitted that their decision was based on his and other’s opinions and not on the school’s written policy.
Strawn said he was particularly bothered by the following language on Young America’s Foundation’s website:
Are you tired of liberal ideas dominating your campus? Are you tired of liberal and Marxist professors indoctrinating your classmates? Do you want to advance conservatism?
If you answered yes, then you should start a Young Americans for Freedom chapter. YAF chapters make a difference by boldly advancing freedom and conservatism. Radical feminists, big government bureaucrats, fringe environmentalists, race-baiters, Islamo-fascists, and run of the mill leftists are distraught that you would even think about promoting conservative ideas.
“It is really disappointing that a school, which promotes diversity and uses the mantra ‘everyone matters,’ would ban an existing club from changing its name," Ms. Blackwell declared. "It is even more frustrating that this censorship isn’t even due to school rules or policy. It is the result of a few administrators’ personal opinions. They just don’t agree with language on YAF’s website about college’s having liberal professors. I guess the truth hurts.”
Conservative students are treated like second-class citizens on liberal campuses like Azusa Pacific University. These campuses love “diversity” and “inclusion”—except when it comes to conservative ideas and values. Proposed campus groups should be beholden to the same standards and rules, not the intolerant opinions and whims of a few administrators. YAF will keep pressuring APU until this unfair decision is overturned.