Samford, a Christian based University, will not allow a group of conservative students to start an Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter because of the organizations founding document the “Sharon Statement”.
School officials say that the Sharon Statement contains inflammatory language towards the school’s communist club. The conservative students researched and discovered there was no record of a communistic student organization on campus.
Karalee Geis, student organizer for the chapter, reported to the organization’s media, The New Guard, that an email from a Samford official stated, “We are looking for the YAF student group to amend or justify the inflammatory language listed in their Purpose. This is the direct statement from the Sharon Statement that, though likely appropriate in 1960, does not hold the same in 2016”
YAF reports that the chapter’s request was denied after a faculty senate meeting.
After more questioning by liberal professors for about 20-25 minutes, we were asked to leave the room. We waited for approximately 30 minutes as the faculty senate discussed YAF. Two members of the faculty senate finally came into the room that our executive board and adviser were waiting in and told us that the vote was to deny us the ability to become a student organization. They said if we made some constitutional changes we could be reconsidered next semester but would have to begin the entire process from the start again. We did not budge on changing the constitution because it is literally from the founding document of YAF. They said that we were not being kind to those who had a communist background…
The Sharon Statement, adopted in 1960 at the home of William F. Buckley Jr., has been referred to as the “seminal document” of the Conservative Movement by The New York Times. Its historical significance as the founding document of Young Americans for Freedom, an organization that played a major role in the Reagan Revolution, is widely recognized.
Sanford University is a Christian based school which would typically be at odds with protecting an supposed communist club. Communism traditionally strives to eliminate religion from society.
The Young American Foundation is working closely with the student organizers to ensure the Samford campus has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a YAF chapter.
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