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The New Guard

YAF Backs Groundbreaking Bill to Safeguard Student Free Speech on Campus

By

Nick Baker

March 15, 2024

In an unfortunately necessary effort to support the advancement of free speech in an environment where it’s constantly under attack, Young America’s Foundation is proud to endorse the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act, introduced this afternoon by Rep. Brandon Williams (NY-22) of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

As noted in YAF’s statement of support, “this bill will protect students’ First Amendment rights, closing the door on this prolonged period of the rampant, anti-Constitutional practices school administrations enact to stifle freedom of speech.”

Of course, this legislation shouldn’t be necessary in the first place–the First Amendment has been the law of the land for more than two centuries! Unfortunately, however, schools are failing to abide by their constitutional duties, and in many cases, actively working against them.

A particularly encouraging strength of this bill is that it takes direct aim at the indirect censorship strategies that leftist administrators have deployed against conservative students for far too long.

In fact, just last week, University of Wisconsin bureaucrats attempted to derail the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter’s campus lecture featuring Michael Knowles by implementing an unprecedented $4,000 “security fee.” Thanks to the swift action of YAF’s fearless student leaders and legal partners, their efforts were defeated–but this egregious attempt to prevent conservative ideas from being heard on campus never should have happened in the first place.

In other cases, students hoping to start Young Americans for Freedom chapters are denied the ability to do so simply because they can’t find a faculty advisor who is willing to work with them.

“It’s reassuring to have this piece of coherent and necessary legislation introduced in the House,” noted YAF Capitol Hill Outreach Director Gabrielle Dankanich. “We are grateful for Rep. Williams’ leadership on this issue and look forward to seeing the positive impact this legislation will have on safeguarding the First Amendment rights of students across the nation.”


The full-length text of the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act is available here.


Check out YAF’s ‘How Universities Violate Your Free Speech & How to Fight Back’ guide!

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