Syracuse University: Denial of Recognition of Young Americans for Freedom Chapter

Category: Cases
Schools: Syracuse University

In February 2019, students at Syracuse University sought to organize a chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative group that operates as a project of the Young America’s Foundation. A board at Syracuse denied the application, citing some structural defects with the application, but also cited the group’s affiliation with Young America’s Foundation, whose past expression was “deemed inflammatory,” as an additional reason for the rejection by the board. The board also found the group’s requirement that prospective members endorse an articulation of conservative principles was “not inclusive.”

On February 22, 2019, FIRE wrote to Syracuse, pointing out that the viewpoint-based discrimination against the group was contrary to Syracuse’s promises of freedom of expression and calling on Syracuse to reconsider the group and affirm that it would not deny recognition to any student organization for its viewpoint. The chapter organizers plan to reapply in fall 2019 and have been reassured by the Director of Student Activities that their application will be given viewpoint-neutral consideration.