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Pro-liberty students barred from forming club: ‘cancel culture organized against us’ at Skidmore

Students blocked from forming a Young Americans for Liberty chapter at Skidmore College

An effort to form a Young Americans for Liberty chapter at Skidmore College was recently blocked by its student government after the club was accused by student activists of being a hate group that advances white nationalism and alt-right agendas.

The leader of a rejected Young Americans for Liberty chapter says that “cancel culture” is responsible for its downfall.

“A cancel culture campaign was organized against us which they coined as holding students accountable for their actions,” said Hannah Davis, a junior at Skidmore College who led the effort to form the campus club.

Skidmore College is a private liberal arts institution in Saratoga Springs, New York, with around 2,600 undergraduates.

Young Americans for Liberty is a nationwide campus activism group with hundreds of campus chapters across the nation. It describes itself on its website as “the most active and effective pro-liberty youth organization advancing liberty on campus and in American electoral politics.”

“Unfortunately, the events that have transpired at Skidmore College are another glimpse into the Orwellianization of higher education in America,” YAL communications vice president Reed Cooley said in an emailed statement to The College Fix.

“Modern academia has been supplanted with a higher education cartel, keen on converting young Americans into foot soldiers for the radical left and its dystopian agenda. If learning, open discourse, and freedom of thought were really valued by the school’s student ‘leadership’ … they would not be attempting to silence YAL’s voice on campus,” Cooley said.

A political science major, Davis made the decision over winter break to create a Young Americans for Liberty chapter at Skidmore, and created an Instagram page to drum up interest.

But a petition was started titled “Stop Skidmore College from Approving the Young Americans for Liberty Club.” It currently has nearly 1,800 signatures. The petition, subtitled “Stop Hate at Skidmore College,” alleges that YAL’s “proclivity to spread hatred cannot be tolerated” and cites events held by other YAL clubs several years ago.

“YAL’s pattern of racism, homophobia, and transphobia cannot be disputed. Skidmore must make no space for this kind of open bigotry on campus,” the petition states.

In addition, numerous negative comments were made on the prospective chapter’s Instagram page, with users calling the organization “absolute trash” and expressing a desire that YAL be “barred from colleges and universities.”

In response, Davis told the Times-Union that “YAL at Skidmore has not participated in any of the hateful behavior that they want us to take accountability for. This idea of collectivized guilt resulted in members of our chapter being forced to leave due to harassment. I have been subjected to endless harassment, false accusations and threats of violence in which Skidmore has been slow in addressing properly.”

Davis told Fox News she was warned that some of her peers wanted to “kick [her] ass” for trying to form the club.

Meanwhile, Skidmore’s student government denied the chapter’s request to form. Davis has indicated she plans to appeal.

The administration of Skidmore, however, has expressed a desire to leave the decision up to student government.

In a statement to the Times-Union, Skidmore College President Marc Connor said: “The student leaders whom our students have elected as their representatives have the right to vote to decide the outcome of this process. This is an important part of the educative experience for our students as they freely conduct their affairs and think about public discourse, civic engagement and campus culture.”

While Skidmore stands firm, the resolve on the other side seems to be just as strong.

“What they fail to understand, however, is that banning conservative and libertarian voices only makes them stronger, inspiring them to fight back even harder against their dogmatic, narrow-minded culture of campus tyranny,” YAL’s Cooley told The Fix.

“YAL proudly stands behind Hannah Davis and our chapter at Skidmore College, and all options are on the table moving forward.”

MORE: Professor says Skidmore College won’t punish him for attending pro-police rally

IMAGE: Fox News screenshot

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Isaac Willour is a political science major at Grove City College. He is an award-winning columnist for GCC's college newspaper and the senior editor of the GCC Journal of Law & Public Policy. He chairs the Grove City AEI Executive Council, and his work has been published in The Dispatch, National Review, The Christian Post, and a variety of other outlets.