Young America’s Foundation and The Pennsylvania State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom are demanding that the university live up to its constitutional obligations and ensure fair and equal access to event spaces after arbitrary restrictions put in place by administrators are pushing an upcoming YAF campus lecture featuring Dr. James Lindsay to a remote location that will make attendance inconvenient for students.
The Center for American Liberty’s Harmeet Dillon, in partnership with Young America’s Foundation, issued a legal demand letter to Penn State’s general counsel Monday evening.
Ahead of the chapter’s planned November 16 event, Penn State YAF Chairman Jack Kentner sent administrators a request for a room reservation that would be centrally located and appropriately sized for the lecture’s expected attendance.
Jeff Zapletal, interim director of student leadership and involvement, told Kentner that after evaluating the details of the event, “[The Bryce Jorden Center] is the venue that is available for this event,” without any explanation as to his reasoning. The Bryce Jorden Center is located on the far edge of Penn State’s sizable campus, far away from most student gathering spaces and residence halls.
Kentner respectfully pushed back, raising that numerous centrally located and appropriately sized venues are shown as available through the university’s reservation system.
Earlier this year, Penn State YAFers tried hosting Lindsay, but were forced to postpone the event after administrators used this same exact tactic.
In his message to Kentner, the administrator implies that the reason for the remote location is due to Lindsay’s views that he believes may cause disruptions to the event or campus activities.
Apparently, however, events promoting leftist ideas are never subject to the same ostracization. The Penn State College Democrats are routinely allowed to host events in buildings conveniently located in the center of campus, according to event flyers on the liberal group’s Instagram page.
Public university administrators have no right to use these backhanded censorship tactics, and YAF is committed to ensuring that this issue will be corrected, and that the event can go forth as scheduled. Should Penn State continue its pattern of discrimination against conservative students and events, the university should prepare for litigation.