Syracuse University denied an application for Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) to become a Registered Student Organization (RSO), stating, as one of its reasons for doing so, that requiring students to believe in the U.S. Constitution is “exclusionary to international students.”
The Syracuse Office of Student Activities denied YAF’s application, in part because members must support the “Sharon Statement,” which is a statement of support for the U.S. Constitution. Syracuse took issue with the Sharon Statement, alleging that adhering to it violates the college’s policy of non-discrimination.
“The Board considers the ‘Sharon Statement’ to be contradictory to Article XI Statement of Non-Discrimination,” Syracuse’s RSO Review Board stated in its rejection email to the group, according to documents obtained by Campus Reform. “Additionally, requiring students to agree in the superiority of the U.S. Constitution is exclusionary to international students and other individuals.”
Additionally, Syracuse’s RSO Review Board took issue with the fact that Young Americans for Freedom is associated with its parent organization, Young America’s Foundation, which the board claims has “extensive control” over the former organization.
Young America’s Foundation has a “pattern” of promoting discourse through “inflammatory” means, according to the Board.
“The Board recognizes that the parent organization, Young America’s Foundation, has demonstrated a pattern of past practice of supporting discourse via printed materials and/or other means that are deemed inflammatory,” the Board stated in an email to the group’s president. “Specifically, products that are supplied free of charge, including the ‘Patriot Pack’ that illustrates an aircraft entering into the World Trade Center and inflammatory statements. The Board considers these materials to be contradictory to the educational mission of Syracuse University and in turn the purpose of a Recognized Student Organization.”
The college listed a variety of other reasons for denying the group registered status, including an “incomplete” constitution, the group’s “undemocratic” nature, “continuity” issues as they relate to the group’s activity during the summer months, “ambiguous” meeting times,” and how money is deposited and reimbursed.
Justine Murray, the YAF group’s president and a Campus Reform correspondent, asserted that even if those issues were resolved, Syracuse would still deny their application.
“I want to stay hopeful that maybe they will approve YAF if I made the proposed changes but based off their first two points and the offense they took to our recognition of the U.S. Constitution, it doesn’t look very probable they will accept us,” Murray told Campus Reform.
Koen Weaver, who is the group’s vice chairman, told Campus Reform, “while I understand the important job of the Office of Student Activities in confirming RSOs on campus, I am concerned by the bias and almost anti-Americanism displayed by our rejection.”
Read the rest at: Constitution