Administrators at Santa Clara University were forced to step in after student government leaders refused to grant official recognition to a conservative student organization. The Student government argued that the group would cause “emotional harm” to students.
According to a report by Campus Reform, students looking to start a chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom faced repeated barriers constructed by their peers in student government.
Student government leaders rejected the group’s request for official university recognition, which grants them access to university funds and privileges, such as the ability to recruit students during on-campus events.
Student government leaders argued that the conservative student group would cause “emotional harm” to students on campus, adding that the group’s programming could make “minority students feel more unsafe.”
Eventually, Jeanne Rosenberger, the vice provost for student life at Santa Clara, stepped in and personally reviewed the student group’s application for recognition. In a letter, Rosenberger announced that the student government had made the wrong decision by refusing to recognize the Young Americans for Freedom group. Rosenberger reversed the decision of the student government and granted the group official university recognition.
“Over the course of the summer, I reviewed all of the materials again, as well as my notes from meetings with student leaders at the end of the term,” Rosenberger said. “Although there were several reasons given for why some ASG senators voted against recognizing YAF, my further review led me to a different conclusion than was communicated in June.”
Quinn Eibert, the chairman of Santa Clara University’s new Young Americans for Freedom chapter, argues that the student government’s refusals to recognize the club are a symptom of a larger strain of political intolerance and anti-Semitism at the university.
“This is a landmark stand against the Student Senate’s intolerance, dishonesty and anti-Semitism,” said SCU YAF Chairman Quinn Eibert. “Santa Clara is once again the bastion for free speech that we all know it to be. I’m grateful that we’re allowed to have a place on this campus. I’m excited for students to learn what YAF is really all about.”