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Long Island U. conservative club suspension remains up in air

Free speech group warns university about due process violations

A group of conservative clubs remains sanctioned at Long Island University for their social media posts critical of transgenderism.

“The American Club” encompasses four right-leaning organizations: Young Americans for Liberty, Students for Life of America, Turning Point USA, and Young Americans for Freedom.

The group met with Ashley John, the executive dean of students and the school’s chief diversity officer, in early January. However, she did not provide a timeline and the future of the club remains unknown.

“She said I made some good points and will alert me with a decision, but did not give me a timeline,” Matthew Cairo, a leader in the group, told The College Fix via email on Jan. 23. “As of right now, I have no idea what the result of that meeting was.”

The private university ordered the groups disbanded and told them to stop posting on social media nearly a year ago, after the group quoted Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, who criticized transgenderism. The group made other social media posts critical of gender ideology.

The university’s media relations department did not respond to three inquiries sent in the past several weeks from The Fix that asked for comment on the situation and if it planned to respond to the letters from a free speech group.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression has sent several letters to the administration asking it to uphold its “free expression promises and due process.”

“LIU’s promise to support free expression leads students to reasonably believe their expressive rights at the university are commensurate with those the First Amendment provides, and creates a contractual obligation to that effect,” FIRE wrote at the end of the fall 2023 semester. “This means LIU cannot punish students for speech because others find it offensive, hateful, or uncivil.”

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It also objected to a planned sanction of mandatory “diversity, equity, and inclusion” training.

Cairo told The Fix prior to the meeting in early January that the club planned to go and “ask probing questions on their reasoning for their non-factual logic.” However, the meeting happened instead of the training.

“FIRE separately objects to LIU’s sanctions against the club, as requiring a DEI action plan constitutes compelled speech, and ordering attendance at LGBTQIA+ training may easily cross the line from education to indoctrination,” the group wrote. “Moreover, the university imposed the interim suspension on the American Club before an initial hearing, and sustained it during the nearly three months LIU took to reach a decision, violating basic principles of due process.”

The suspension came after a campus group called the “Freedom Fighters” who petitioned the university to silence their conservative peers.

The group called it a victory for “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and accused the group of using “transphobic words.”

The group appears to exist primarily to warn students about different conservative groups on campus. The Freedom Fighters’ Instagram page posts various graphics about Students for Life of America, Turning Point USA, and the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow. CFACT is a conservative environment focused group.

Other posts include a picture of Texas Governor Greg Abbott with devil horns on him and a picture of President Ronald Reagan that says “Happy B-day A**hole.”

Another graphic lists “ceasefire” repeatedly and a caption: “War can’t give life, it can only take it away.”

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IMAGE: American Club/Instagram

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Elaine Gunthorpe is a student at Christendom College where she is studying political science and economics. Elaine is involved with the Christendom College Republicans, Network of Enlightened Women, and Shield of Roses. She also writes as a Campus Correspondent with Campus Reform.