The Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter at the University of Florida is suing the Board of Trustees with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom in federal court, according to the Miami Herald.
YAF alleges the student government distributes funds in a biased way to non-budgeted student organizations, and has taken steps to squash the organizations access to student funding.
In the past, the group had hosted a number of big name speakers, including Ben Shapiro, without incident, but a change in policy following the denial to become a fully budgeted group has led to discriminatory practices in how funds are distributed. After the denial of YAF’s budgetary request by the Student Senate, they passed a new rule barring non-budgeted organizations from requesting speaker funding.
According to the complaint, “under this new policy, budgeted student organizations can advocate for their own viewpoints both directly and by bringing in guest speakers, but non-budgeted student organizations cannot obtain funding to similarly express themselves.”
The suit comes after being denied over $6,000 to host the Dana Loesch, spokeswoman for the NRA, and commentator Andrew Kalvan, along with denial of their budgetary request.
Because YAF was the only organization on campus to actively request funding for speakers, the students feel this policy is directly targeting them for their views.
Students are challenging the student governments “unbridled discretion” in allocating funds to whichever group they see as worthy.
All students are required to pay a $19 student fee for organizations, so requiring the members of YAF to fund other students’ free speech while denying funds for their own is clear viewpoint discrimination.
Categories: U.S. News