A pro-life student group had to fight for their right to participate in social justice fair at Cal State Dominguez Hills, according to a report from The College Fix.
The Students for Life group at Cal State Dominguez Hills was denied participation in the school’s social justice fair. The group was told that their values contradicted with the “framework” and message of the social justice fair.
“[Y]our application was denied based on the reasoning that your organization does not fit within the framework of this particular event,” organizers of the social justice fair reportedly said in an email to the Students for Life group.
“We’re proud to be sponsored by unions, student government and individual donations. We’re overjoyed to have the participation of over 40 social justice organizations with useful resources and information,” fair advisor and Labor Studies Program Coordinator Vivian Price said. “As attacks on people based on race and religion and free speech mount under this administration, and the rights for a clean environment and good, safe jobs shrink and the very right to organize collectively is in jeopardy, we need to share our resources and work together.”
Brent Stenhouse, a club adviser to Cal State Dominguez Hills Students for Life, expressed his concern over the fair organizer’s decision to reject the students for life club.
“Moreover, it appears that participation in this event is limited to individuals and organizations that toe the liberal line, marching in lock-step with the dominant ideology on campus: Marxism,” Stenhouse said.
After The College Fix brought attention to the incident, the university reversed course and decided that the Students for Life group could participate in the social justice fair. Organizers of the fair curiously claimed that the initial rejection was the result of a miscommunication.
“Due to a miscommunication in the application and an unclear description of our selection process, we will not be denying any groups that applied to the 9th annual Labor, Social & Environmental Justice fair by the listed deadline date. Thank you for your patience,” fair organizers said in an email to the pro-life club’s organizers.
“Well, we’re certainly grateful that the Labor Studies Dept. and the Labor & Social Justice Club at CSUDH changed its tune, but I suspect they realized this was a losing cause: public agencies cannot commit ‘viewpoint discrimination,’ it’s a Constitutional violation,” Stenhouse told The College Fix. “Now we’ll see if we are permitted to speak freely without threat of vandalism or violence from others, this considering how freedom of speech and assembly is being threatened on campuses all across America.
Campus spokesperson Amy Bentley-Smith said in an email that the university is committed to protecting the spech rights of all students, regardless of political persuasion: “California State University, Dominguez Hills is fully committed to protecting every member of the university community’s first amendment rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and the right to assemble peaceably.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org