Incident at College of Lake County had targeted YAF club
After a College of Lake County adviser hung flyers accusing a conservative club on campus of being a hate group, the Illinois school hosted free speech trainings for faculty and staff.
In November, an employee of the college hung flyers stating “hate groups are not welcome here” and other materials accusing Young Americans for Freedom of being a hate group.
YAF student Chairman Rob Corn said in a Facebook post: “I’ve been going to this school for two years, and this isn’t anything new. The intolerance of the left on our campus is rampant.”
But after the incident, the college hosted free speech training sessions.
“A student activities director told Corn that the first question discussed at these sessions was whether or not the YAF chapter was a hate group, to which the school’s lawyers affirmed that the chapter was NOT a hate group, and has every right to exist on campus,” YAF reported in a news release.
Faculty and advisers were also instructed to “help students comply with free speech protocols on campus” and assist them to navigate “free speech issues, especially speech that may be controversial,” according to YAF, which obtained the training documents.
The presentation also directed faculty to “help students ensure that their free speech is not subject to regulation under the First Amendment.”
Another slide instructed faculty and advisers to “avoid treating protected speech as actionable misconduct” and that “expressions of hateful or offensive views do not constitute unlawful harassment, even if they offend listeners.”
In an email to The College Fix, YAF spokesman Spencer Brown called the training “another victory for YAF’s student activists,” and praised the campus’ YAF chapter for its “boldness” in confronting the administration.
“The campus Left’s attempts to sideline and silence conservatives backfired when Young Americans for Freedom activists at CLC refused to give up,” he said in the email. “CLC is now taking steps to do what more universities should: train their staff and faculty to understand that the First Amendment must apply equally to all students, regardless of viewpoint.”