University attorney says statement ‘not a condition for YAF’s recognition as a student organization, effective immediately’
The University of Wisconsin – La Crosse will not require the Young Americans for Freedom chapter to include an “inclusivity statement” in order to be recognized on campus.
The school announced the policy change Friday morning after being threatened with a lawsuit by YAF, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, and the Mountain States Legal Foundation.
“[The] referenced statement is not a condition for YAF’s recognition as a student organization, effective immediately,” Quinn Williams, the counsel for the UW system, stated on Friday. The UW-La Crosse Student Association required the statement’s use.
“This is a massive victory for free speech and our constitutionally protected rights, and we look forward to promoting YAF across the campus next semester,” campus YAF Chairman Ryan Kitzan told the national organization’s New Guard publication.
The statement “includes clauses stating that YAF affirms the Left’s transgender agenda and stands with those who illegally migrate to the United States, among other compelled assertions,” the national conservative student group wrote on its blog Thursday after it sent the legal letter.
“[YAF] recognizes and values the diverse identities, backgrounds, and beliefs of our faculty and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student body,” the statement reads in part. “Our definition of diversity includes, but is not
limited to ability, age, class, documentation status, gender identity, language, military status, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation,” the students were also supposed to write in their club documents.
The club was also supposed to “support[s] the success of marginalized identities.”
Williams, the university attorney, provided YAF with a legal memo he sent UW La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, where he explains how the policy “impermissibly limits the ability of such student organizations’ ability to determine their own goals and beliefs.”
“Regent Policy Document 30-6” protects the free speech rights of students, Williams wrote in his memo. The policy “specifically allows a student organization the authority to condition membership to such student organization on its own goals and beliefs.”
“Enforcement of the [student government] Resolution should cease immediately.”
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