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The New Guard

UW La Crosse Crosses The Line; YAF Threatens Lawsuit

By

Nick Baker

December 14, 2023

Young America’s Foundation sent a demand letter to the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse Thursday afternoon asserting that the university has violated the First Amendment rights of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter on campus. 

YAF is represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.

The letter, addressed to the program coordinator for student organizations, highlights the unconstitutional conduct of the university in requiring YAF to adopt a so-called “inclusivity statement,” which 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.

By forcing YAF to endorse the “inclusivity statement,” UW-La Crosse is blatantly violating the organization’s and its members’ clearly-established rights to freedom of speech and association under the First Amendment.

The “inclusivity statement” in question includes a value-laden recitation of political and social policy positions dictated by the university that run contrary to conservative beliefs and biological reality. 

The letter also points out that the Supreme Court has held that a public university may have requirements for recognition, such as a rule that prospective groups affirm their intention to comply with reasonable campus regulations. However, the university’s “inclusivity statement” goes beyond this reasonable requirement and instead seeks to force YAF to affirmatively express a set of beliefs and positions.

The letter concludes by requesting that UW-La Crosse immediately remove the “inclusivity statement” condition on YAF’s recognition. Failure to do so will result in a lawsuit filed in federal court. 

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how UW-La Crosse will respond to these demands. The outcome of this case may very well have significant implications for the rights of student organizations on college campuses across the country. 

The full demand letter is available here:

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