The Drake University Student Senate denied recognition to the conservative student organization Turning Point USA.
The body at the Des Moines, Iowa, university voted against the proposed chapter 17-2 on Mar. 11, with one student senator citing the group’s “harmful” views.
Two months later, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) sent Drake University a letter that urged administrators to “end viewpoint discrimination and promptly process TPUSA’s application for recognition.”
The letter states:
“Given the university’s laudable promises of free expression, Drake must reverse the Student Senate’s decision and recognize TPUSA as a registered student organization.”
According to the Drake University Registered Student Organization Handbook, registered groups can utilize Drake’s name, participate in activity fairs, and use services provided by the Student Life Center.
Without recognition, Turning Point USA will not be eligible to reserve on-campus meeting space or apply for funding.
This is the third time the group has sought campus approval. Previous attempts were made in 2016 and 2019.
“For free speech, we are not backing down,” the group posted on Facebook shortly after its most recent rejection.
The university’s Statement of Principles states that the school does not tolerate “acts of oppression,” which includes “denial of freedom of expression” and “political beliefs.”
“Ideas will not be suppressed because they are presently viewed as unpopular or inappropriate by current authorities, nor will expression of those ideas be infringed because it may be perceived as harmful to a particular group or organization,” the policy states.
Campus Reform reached out to Drake University, the Student Senate, FIRE, and TPUSA for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
Originally published by Campus Reform. Republished with permission.
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