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  #1  
Old 05-29-2009, 03:06 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Should Liberty University Lose its Federal Loans/Accreditation for its position on Dems?

This is more of a GQ but it'll probably end up here anyway.

For those not familiar, Liberty University is the Lynchburg Virginia institution founded by Jerry Falwell. It's probably the most respected academic institution associated with the Fundamentalists.

Last year a student, Brian Diaz, a LU freshman, started a LU chapter of the Young Democrats, a fairly standard student organization at most colleges of similar size, though the first in LU's history. Last week Liberty pulled the official recognition of the club by the administration. You can read the full email here; the emphases in the edited version below are mine:

Quote:
From: Hine, Mark (VP Student Affairs)
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 1:37 PM
Subject: LU College Democrats

I must inform you that the College democrats' club is no longer going to be recognized as a Liberty University club. We are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by Liberty University.
...
The Liberty Way states, "It is the duty of every student to respect Liberty's Statement of Doctrine and Purpose. They may not engage in any activity on or off campus that would compromise the testimony or reputation of the University or cause disruption to Liberty's Christian learning environment."

...

Below is a copy of the policy which governs clubs and organizations at Liberty University. This policy is posted on the website.


STUDENT CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS POLICIES


Student clubs or organizations must request and receive permission from the Liberty University administration before they may meet on campus, advertise, distribute or post materials, or use any University facilities for their activities or events. All such clubs or organizations and their activities or events must be consistent with the University's mission, and must be and remain in compliance with the Liberty Way, the Honor Code, and any policies or procedures promulgated by the University. The University reserves the right to refuse the use of its facilities for any reason to any student club, organization, activity or event.
...

Even though this club may not support the more radical planks of the democratic party, the democratic party is still the parent organization of the club on campus. The Democratic Party Platform is contrary to the mission of LU and to Christian doctrine (supports abortion, federal funding of abortion, advocates repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, promotes the "LGBT" agenda, Hate Crimes, which include sexual orientation and gender identity, socialism, etc). The candidates this club supports uphold the Platform and implement it. The candidates supported are directly contrary to the mission of LU. By using LU or Liberty University and Democrat in the name, the two are associated and the goals of both run in opposite directions.

We are removing the club from the Liberty website and you will need to cease using Liberty University's name, including any logo, seal or mark of Liberty University. They are not to be used in any of your publications, electronic or internet, including but not limited to, any website, Facebook, Twitter or any other such publication.
Okey dokey. As you can imagine this has not proved a popular move with any Democrat, and even many Republicans who are left of Falwell have issues with it.

The university's president, Jerry Falwell Jr. (you know that you work at an institution where academic freedom and knowledge comes first when the presidency is hereditary) was furious at accounts that he/the university had banned the club. Quite to the contrary, they were free to meet and free to belong, they just couldn't talk about it or use Liberty anywhere in their name or receive any kind of university recognition or funding.

From here:
Quote:
Following a maelstrom of criticism, Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr offered to reinstate the club, providing it aligns itself with a pro-life, anti-gay Democratic group, and not the Democratic party in general. Which is kind of like saying that you'll allow penguins at your zoo, but not the black-and-white kind that waddle.
He was also furious that the group's leader, Brian Diaz, had said that he perceived the email as stating that one could not be a good Democrat and a good Christian. Accusations of that kind of intolerance can hurt a guy.From here:

Quote:
Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. has demanded that the group retract and publicly apologize for accusing a school administration of saying Democrats couldn't be Christians. He also wants an apology for the group's claims to the news media that the school told club members they couldn't hold meetings on campus.
Now, if this were Bob Jones University (another hereditary fiefdom of Fundamentalist academia), there'd be no recourse at all. If BJU wanted to forbid women to speak in class and wanted to sponsor a "Hetero Whiteboy Jewhaters Club Car Wash and Bake Sale" they'd be absolutely within their rights. There's a huge differences between BJ University and Liberty University however: accreditation.

BJU is not and makes no pretense at being and has no interest in being accredited by any secular organization. It is essentially a church school and a private organization and receives no more government funding than a Women's Issues Book Club that meets in private homes or a Plumbers Union Bowling League- it's a completely private organization. Liberty on the other hand is fully accredited by the Southeastern Association of Colleges & Schools, the exact same accreditation association that accredits the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt U., Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College, and any other private or public institution no matter how big or how small that wants to meet national standards and receive federal aid. It's standards are the same as the northeastern version that accredits Harvard and the smallest community college in NY, or the west coast one that accredits UCLA and the tiniest technical college in Nevada. Liberty is also accredited on a probationary status by the American Bar Association, the probationary status being due to the newness of the law school rather than any philosophical or religious reasons, and the individual programs (education, pre-med, etc.) are accredited by whatever accreditation agency is over them in the region.

Now, Liberty U does not seek accreditation to feel good about themselves, but rather (among other reasons) so that their students can receive federal financial aid. It's a private university so tuition is high- about $15,000 plus books and fees- and there aren't scholarships for all students, so most students there (like most students at similarly priced colleges) borrow from the government or from lendors guaranteed by the government to go to school there. Without this, Liberty students would have to raise the funds in other ways or the University would have to raise a LOT of money to endow itself, more than they could ever probably hope to raise- or they'd have to cut way down. They could not continue doing business on the same scale as they currently operate at.

Consequently there are movements afoot to challenge Liberty's accreditation and its tax exempt status and basically to seek revenge on their Dem ban by tampering its money lifeline to the Federal government (which given the university's views on the Democratic congress and president I can only assume is their equivalent of the Fundamentalist Mormon apostates "bleeding the beast"). This isn't the first movement to interfere as Liberty has many enemies and has since it's inception almost 40 years ago.

So what began as a GQ:

Is Liberty University in violation of any policies that would affect their students' ability to receive government direct or guaranteed loans? What about their tax-exempt status (because if they had to pay taxes they'd also be sunk)?

And on a different issue, how do schools like Liberty meet the SACS (or equivalent) accreditation for science courses when they discount evolution?
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2009, 03:11 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Does the school have an officially-sanctioned Young Republicans club?
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:19 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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There are so many reasons to withdraw all support for Liberty University that I can't pick just ONE.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:21 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Does the school have an officially-sanctioned Young Republicans club?
yup, as well as a Christian Conservatives club and several other clubs that strike me as similar type organizations (just going by the name).

Though they still allow an ultimate frisbee club, so at least the college dems have a place to go.

Last edited by Simplicio; 05-29-2009 at 03:22 PM..
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:24 PM
Algher Algher is offline
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I believe the Federal rules are simply you can borrow money to go to an accredited school.

Glancing at the Undergrad portion of the SACS accreditation guideliness (in .pdf here: http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/2008Princ...reditation.pdf )

Quote:
3.9.1 The institution publishes a clear and appropriate statement of student
rights and responsibilities and disseminates the statement to
the campus community. (Student rights)
I don't feel like searching all of the SACS and Federal Guidlines (Fed Here: http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea98/index.html ).

I don't think that accreditation is path to shut this down, however.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:30 PM
mswas mswas is offline
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Why can't a university be unabashed about its political leanings?
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:40 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Originally Posted by mswas View Post
Why can't a university be unabashed about its political leanings?
There's no problem there, you can have a Fundamentalist Islamic Madrassah if you like. The question is should a school that discriminates against students for their political leanings have a right to government loans for its students.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:42 PM
haymarketmartyr haymarketmartyr is offline
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It is interesting and telling that Liberty University really is not about liberty at all.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:44 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswas View Post
Why can't a university be unabashed about its political leanings?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
There's no problem there, you can have a Fundamentalist Islamic Madrassah if you like. The question is should a school that discriminates against students for their political leanings have a right to government loans for its students.
Additionally, they might have their not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status revoked as in order to maintain that status you cannot endorse a candidate or political party. Revoking the Democratic Club recognition and yet maintaining the Republican one that does the same thing may run afoul of that.

Mswas is right that as a private institution they can do whatever they want but they are not necessarily entitled to tax breaks or federal funding if they do.
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:57 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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No tax exempt status, no fed funding, no accreditation. It's no different that Bob Jones Uni.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:00 PM
Karweenie Karweenie is offline
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Student loan status should remain unaffected. If they received direct government monies to, say, erect a statue to Falwell's penile eminence, then we'd have a problem.

As an aside, I used to live in Lynchburg while I attended the former Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Sexual assaults, federal investigations and money troubles at Liberty were common knowledge to Lynchburgers.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:06 PM
Algher Algher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
There's no problem there, you can have a Fundamentalist Islamic Madrassah if you like. The question is should a school that discriminates against students for their political leanings have a right to government loans for its students.
The risk is here ( like hate speech codes), is that if you did take away Liberty's accreditation for banning the Democrat club, you would see actions to take away accreditation of many other universities for perceived hostility towards conservative groups. I was a Right Wing Rabble Rouser in my youth, and regularly paid for it with meetings with senior university officials at my school. If I could have threatened them with accreditation, I would have in a nanosecond.

Don't do it - there will be backlash.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:06 PM
mswas mswas is offline
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Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
No tax exempt status, no fed funding, no accreditation. It's no different that Bob Jones Uni.
The first two I understand but not the accreditation part. Why should accreditation be subject to political affiliation?
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:07 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by Karweenie View Post
As an aside, I used to live in Lynchburg while I attended the former Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Sexual assaults, federal investigations and money troubles at Liberty were common knowledge to Lynchburgers.
I thought about saying cite? but decided I believe you without evidence. Instead I'll replay details, por favor.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:21 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
I thought about saying cite? but decided I believe you without evidence. Instead I'll replay details, por favor.
They had 4 reported forcible sex offenses per year in 2007 and 2006. Cite and cite. That's roughly the same as Old Dominion and U-VA, two institutions in the same state and same size range (20,000 to 30,000 students). Liberty seems to be high in burglary compared to other institutions of similar size.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:55 PM
Karweenie Karweenie is offline
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Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
I thought about saying cite?
I deserve that.

Here's the latest sexual assault story:
http://www.wset.com/news/stories/0409/616770.html

Anecdotally, I knew two different girls who were assaulted on campus. Each time the victim reported it to the campus police. Emily was told flat out that they didn't believe her. The other waited while the attacker was questioned, and was then told it was a case of "he said, she said" and invited to leave. Right or wrong, neither pressed charges.

As for federal investigations:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5522064
He was ultimately exonerated.

Liberty's financial woes were legion until Falwell himself died.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...677098,00.html (alllll the way at the bottom)
His $34 million dollar insurance paid off their debts, and possibly forestalled a loss of academic accreditation.

Before this, Reverend Moon (yes, THAT Moon!) bailed them out in 1995:
http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2...oon_connec.php
Where Moon got the cash is anyone's guess.

Anecdotes that are to be taken with varying dashes of salt:

Liberty students were banned from the R-MWC library. They would check out books on the occult, Satanism, evolution, whatever and either not return them or deface them. I once opened a book about Santeria and found a large index card inside scrawled "READERS OF THIS BOOK ARE GOING TO HELL!! REPENT AND LET JESUS INTO YOUR HEART!"

Falwell drove a large shiny black SUV. One of his little games was revving the engine and pretending to run over someone in the Liberty administrative parking lot.

Supposedly there is an ongoing feud between Liberty and the City of Lynchburg regarding taxes. (Liberty is a campus of 4400 acres, straddling some of Lynchburg and some of Campbell County.)

Not so anecdotally, check out the campus living guide: http://www.liberty.edu/media/1210/ON...DE%2002_09.pdf
You can't watch Rated R movies.

There's more, but all these anecdotes in Great Debates are enough as it is.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:57 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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Originally Posted by Karweenie View Post
I deserve that.
I actually wasn't asking for a citation. I just wanted more details.

It's probably my own fault that no one believes me when I'm being sincere, but I'm going to blame someone else anyway. Damn that Sarah Palin.

Last edited by Skald the Rhymer; 05-29-2009 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:04 PM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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If you want a much more nuanced view of life within Liberty, check out the book The Unlikely Disciple by a Brown Journalism Major who went undercover at Liberty for a year and found both stereotypes confirmed and dismissed. Among some of the surprising things about Liberty is that there actually are gay students on campus although their presence is very much on the down low.
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:06 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Originally Posted by Algher View Post
The risk is here ( like hate speech codes), is that if you did take away Liberty's accreditation for banning the Democrat club, you would see actions to take away accreditation of many other universities for perceived hostility towards conservative groups. I was a Right Wing Rabble Rouser in my youth, and regularly paid for it with meetings with senior university officials at my school. If I could have threatened them with accreditation, I would have in a nanosecond.

Don't do it - there will be backlash.
Were you in trouble for rabble rousing or being conservative? If the biggest punishment you received was meetings, I'm not too sympathetic. If you don't think actions should be punished somehow, I assume you'd be against any punishment for SDS rioters.
The Dems here seem to be in trouble not for doing anything, but for thought crimes.
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:40 PM
Algher Algher is offline
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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Were you in trouble for rabble rousing or being conservative? If the biggest punishment you received was meetings, I'm not too sympathetic. If you don't think actions should be punished somehow, I assume you'd be against any punishment for SDS rioters.
The Dems here seem to be in trouble not for doing anything, but for thought crimes.
The real issue (to the university) is that my group had an impact on donations due to communications with alumni. There were veiled threats a few times, and one bit of legal action regarding our use of the unversity name that we fought off thanks to an alumnus who is an attorney. We used the power of the alumni network, along with some friendly attorneys (including the Federalist Society folks at the Law School) to protect us. The university never did much directly while I was there, but if anything WOULD have happened we would have happily gone after our own school's accreditation (not always the highest Wisdom score).
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:53 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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Originally Posted by mswas View Post
The first two I understand but not the accreditation part. Why should accreditation be subject to political affiliation?
If accreditation determines whether students can use their student loans to attend Liberty, then that's just a different avenue for federal funding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Algher
The real issue (to the university) is that my group had an impact on donations due to communications with alumni. There were veiled threats a few times, and one bit of legal action regarding our use of the unversity name that we fought off thanks to an alumnus who is an attorney. We used the power of the alumni network, along with some friendly attorneys (including the Federalist Society folks at the Law School) to protect us. The university never did much directly while I was there, but if anything WOULD have happened we would have happily gone after our own school's accreditation (not always the highest Wisdom score).
Good for you. But why do you think the same thing should not happen to Liberty?
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:57 PM
furt furt is offline
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Liberty on the other hand is fully accredited by the Southeastern Association of Colleges & Schools, the exact same accreditation association that accredits the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt U., Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College, and any other private or public institution no matter how big or how small that wants to meet national standards and receive federal aid.
maybe just a nitpick, but in addition to the regional accrediting bodies you allude to, there are other accrediting bodies whose students also receive federal money. These tend to be career-orented schools that mostly give associate's degrees, but many of them are also religious in nature. I wouldn't be at all surprised if others had similar policies.


It's an asinine decison from asinine people, and I gotta think that the ACLU will be happy to take the case on. But IMO a precedent-setting injunction should be enough. I don't know if we really want to start opening the accreditation can of worms every time some administrator somewhere decides to forbid the Campus Skinheads Club (or the "Homosexuality is a sin" club, or the "Christianity is a myth" club, etc).

As a matter of politics, I think Algher has a point. Higher ed is a bastion of progressism, and it's not hard to find examples of school administrations going a bit too far: see this, this and this. Loss of accreditation would be a HUGE blow to LU, and you can bet your ass fundamentalists everywhere would be looking to take down state schools every time some associate dean so much as farts on a conservative student group. This is not a war any of us need.

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Old 05-29-2009, 08:50 PM
ITR champion ITR champion is offline
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Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
Is Liberty University in violation of any policies that would affect their students' ability to receive government direct or guaranteed loans? What about their tax-exempt status (because if they had to pay taxes they'd also be sunk)?
Accreditation is a peer-reviewed process. The entire university is reviewed by a panel of persons from other universities. In addition, if SACS is like the bodies that I'm familiar with, they have individual colleges and departments reviewed by people within their respective fields, also from other universities. So it's largely up to other universities to decide whether Liberty remains accredited.

Now, speaking purely from anecdotes, I believe that accreditation is largely a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" process. My father was once involved in reviewing the history department at other university. He wrote up a report with an honest evaluation of what he saw and heard from the faculty, but when he turned it in, the higher-ups basically told him to remove anything negative.

The one instance I've heard of where the accreditation board demanded something meaningful was when I was an undergrad at Harvey Mudd College in California. When I arrived, the board had just finished a year-long study and concluded that women and minorities felt uncomfortable on our campus. Consequently, they handed down a ruling saying that we'd better start admitting more women and minorities, hiring more women and minorities, and changing our curriculum to focus more on women and minorities, or else.

Quote:
And on a different issue, how do schools like Liberty meet the SACS (or equivalent) accreditation for science courses when they discount evolution?
If you read the document algher linked to, you'll see that accreditation does not depend on course material. It focuses on universities mechanics: have a board of directors with a least 5 people, having a library, offering tutoring services, etc...

For what it's worth, while I wouldn't recommend Liberty to anyone, I am close friends with a family who sent their daughter there, and her reports from the place are fully positive.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:58 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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It's an asinine decison from asinine people, and I gotta think that the ACLU will be happy to take the case on. But IMO a precedent-setting injunction should be enough. I don't know if we really want to start opening the accreditation can of worms every time some administrator somewhere decides to forbid the Campus Skinheads Club (or the "Homosexuality is a sin" club, or the "Christianity is a myth" club, etc).
True, but College Democrats is a far cry from any of those. It's about as mainstream a group as you can get.

Quote:
As a matter of politics, I think Algher has a point. Higher ed is a bastion of progressism, and it's not hard to find examples of school administrations going a bit too far: see this, this and this.
Every single one of those schools (two banning College Republicans and one banning the peaceful protest of Ward Churchill for those who didn't click) was completely in the wrong and should have gotten in trouble for it just as Liberty U is in the wrong on this. An accredited university should not be allowed to discriminate against any nationally chartered and recognized organizations that do not advocate violence.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:43 PM
furt furt is offline
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True, but College Democrats is a far cry from any of those. It's about as mainstream a group as you can get
True, but

1) Where exactly does "mainstream" stop and "extremist" start?
2) Why are only mainstream views worth protecting?

Quote:
An accredited university should not be allowed to discriminate against any nationally chartered and recognized organizations that do not advocate violence.
So if I charter an organization that argues, say, racial supremacy, and get it "nationally recognized" (whatever that means), so long as we don't advocate violence, we're ok? Or do we have to be "mainstream?"

Quote:
Every single one of those schools (two banning College Republicans and one banning the peaceful protest of Ward Churchill for those who didn't click) was completely in the wrong and should have gotten in trouble for it just as Liberty U is in the wrong on this.
And two of the cases spurred lawsuits. I hope Liberty's will as well.

But losing, or even the threat of losing, accrediation and/or federal loan eligibility, is a HUGE thing. The latter is probably the biggest possible threat to make to many college. If my college lost federal loan eligibility on Monday, every single employee would be unemployed on Tuesday, I guarantee you.

You're inviting a situation where college administrators have to decide which views can be aired and which cannot, with the biggest possible disaster looming if they make the wrong choice.

And certainly accreditation hurts more than just the school itself. Consider the thousands of students who are 2, 3 or 4 years into a degree at Liberty: pulling accreditation now means they get a lesser degree, or have to transfer somewhere else to finish, probably losing a semester or two of progress in the process. They're out thousands of dollars and a year or more of their life because the Dean of Students or whoever banned the wrong activity group. This is the best solution?


You're shooting a rat with a howitzer.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:51 PM
elucidator elucidator is online now
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Isn't Liberty where those Bushivik lawbots graduated?
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:51 PM
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This is the best solution?
Frankly, the best solution is for Liberty to allow a student chapter of the Democratic Party. What would you suggest as a solution for a left-leaning private university that banned a student chapter of the Republican Party?
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:53 PM
elucidator elucidator is online now
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...You're shooting a rat with a howitzer.
So, you've seen a New York rat, then?
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:58 PM
mswas mswas is offline
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If accreditation determines whether students can use their student loans to attend Liberty, then that's just a different avenue for federal funding.
But shouldn't they be drawing a distinction between funding the students and funding the university?
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:58 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Well, okay. But as much as I might agree with this in principle, I wonder where the real problems are here. Did the Liberty incident make news because it was man bites dog, so to speak?

Let's face it, Liberty is small fry here compared to DePaul and Brown. And while I will happily condemn Liberty for this boneheaded move, it doesn't hold a candle to what goes on on other campuses. The College Republicans at San Francisco State University have been involved in litigation against the administration for about three years now.

So, yeah, I'd be glad to see these rules tightened up - but by an overwhelming margin it won't be conservative schools that get stung.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:01 PM
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The College Republicans at San Francisco State University have been involved in litigation against the administration for about three years now.
Why?
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:01 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by elucidator
Isn't Liberty where those Bushivik lawbots graduated?
I think you're thinking of Regent University, founded by a different fundamentalist preacher (Pat Robertson, not Jerry Falwell). Liberty University, AFAICT, doesn't have a law school.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:08 PM
mswas mswas is offline
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An accredited university should not be allowed to discriminate against any nationally chartered and recognized organizations that do not advocate violence.
Why?
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  #34  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:09 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Why with all the "remove accreditation" stuff?

Remove their 501(c)(3) status.

The IRS has been clear about this forever. Liberty seems to be in violation. If they allow the Republican Club but deny the Democrat Club sure looks like a political endorsement. Hell, the Democrat Club had in its charter that they opposed abortion and same-sex marriage which is in line with Liberty dogma and the main reasons Liberty opposes the Democratic party (and while they were happy to see their Democrat Club eschew those planks they still saw them as supporting a political party they disagree with hence revoking their support).

I guarantee you the University will care a great deal if they lose their tax exempt status. If they want to live with that then fine, their call.
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  #35  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:18 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Moto
Let's face it, Liberty is small fry here compared to DePaul and Brown.
How ya figger? I was at Brown for several years, and the College Republican group there was extremely active at that time (although they've faded in and out of active existence over the years due to low membership). I never heard even a whisper of any attempt or intention to revoke their status as a Brown student organization.

IMO, going so far as to refuse official student group status to a campus chapter of a national student organization because of overt political partisanship on the part of the administration doesn't rank as "small fry" in any size pond.

By the way, I think you might be a little out of date concerning the College Republicans' lawsuit against SFSU's speech codes, which AFAICT was settled in 2008. Note, btw, that SFSU never attempted to ban the College Republicans: they just disciplined some CR members under provisions of the speech code that were later agreed to be unconstitutional.
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  #36  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:20 PM
furt furt is offline
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Frankly, the best solution is for Liberty to allow a student chapter of the Democratic Party. What would you suggest as a solution for a left-leaning private university that banned a student chapter of the Republican Party?
Quote:
Originally Posted by me, already
It's an asinine decison from asinine people, and I gotta think that the ACLU will be happy to take the case on. But IMO a precedent-setting injunction should be enough.
Probably need to substitute FIRE for ACLU, but the answer is the same.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:24 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Why?
Well, I talked about some of it awhile back. It started when the school started investigating the club for violations of the speech code after they burned flags of Hezbollah and Hamas at a rally. The school decided not to punish the club, but didn't clear them either.

The club then sued the school with the assistance of conservative foundations, alleging that the speech codes were unconstitutional. After a preliminary injunction was issued to stop enforcement of the codes, the university settled - modifying the code heavily and paying the club's legal bills.

The latest dustup seems to stem from this - the school has blocked reservations of outdoor spaces for rallies until policies are revised. The CRs are saying this is an additional First Amendment violation, and are threatening to sue.

PDF link.
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  #38  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:24 PM
furt furt is offline
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Why with all the "remove accreditation" stuff?

Remove their 501(c)(3) status.
Do they have it? If they do, this would be a much more appropriate threat.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:25 PM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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I think you're thinking of Regent University, founded by a different fundamentalist preacher (Pat Robertson, not Jerry Falwell). Liberty University, AFAICT, doesn't have a law school.
Liberty does have a law school, but I don't think it's fully accredited yet, as it's only a few years old.
But I have wondered about what sort of reputation those law schools have in the legal profession. How seriously would someone from Regent or Liberty be taken if they tried applying at a major law firm?
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:26 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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...they just disciplined some CR members under provisions of the speech code that were later agreed to be unconstitutional.
You make it seem like the school administration came to this happy agreement all on their own. Had they not been sued in federal court, do you think they would have changed their policy?
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  #41  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:26 PM
Frank Frank is online now
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Probably need to substitute FIRE for ACLU, but the answer is the same.
OK, I didn't read your earlier post closely enough.
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  #42  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:29 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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You make it seem like the school administration came to this happy agreement all on their own.
Hmm, I would have thought that my use of the phrase "the College Republicans' lawsuit against SFSU's speech codes, which AFAICT was settled in 2008" would have clearly indicated the fact that a lawsuit was involved.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:31 PM
Frank Frank is online now
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The latest dustup seems to stem from this - the school has blocked reservations of outdoor spaces for rallies until policies are revised. The CRs are saying this is an additional First Amendment violation, and are threatening to sue.
So, SFSU has, in fact, banned the College Republican organization?

I appreciate your informing me, by the way; I hadn't heard of this and I'm skeptical as to whether the CR group did anything wrong. Nevertheless, I see nothing that makes a comparison to Liberty's action a valid comparison.
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  #44  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:33 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Do they have it? If they do, this would be a much more appropriate threat.
Yes. And a watchdog group is apparently filling an official complaint with the IRS to have that status reviewed.

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 05-29-2009 at 11:35 PM..
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  #45  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:35 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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So, SFSU has, in fact, banned the College Republican organization?

I appreciate your informing me, by the way; I hadn't heard of this and I'm skeptical as to whether the CR group did anything wrong. Nevertheless, I see nothing that makes a comparison to Liberty's action a valid comparison.
Certainly they can be compared. Wrong is wrong - and if it is wrong to even contemplate disciplining students for exercising free speech it is wrong to actually do it. Not to mention the fact that the school has effectively suspended outdoor rallies for all students - which pretty clearly flies in the face of the First Amendment.
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  #46  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:46 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Certainly they can be compared. Wrong is wrong - and if it is wrong to even contemplate disciplining students for exercising free speech it is wrong to actually do it. Not to mention the fact that the school has effectively suspended outdoor rallies for all students - which pretty clearly flies in the face of the First Amendment.
Err...I never thought Free Speech extended to allowing you to stand on my property and spew whatever was on your mind. My property, I can tell you to shove off. Your free speech rights do not prevent me from doing that.

It is University property. They are free to restrict its use and particularly since they are not playing favorites in that restriction...no one can have rallies. Seems about as even handed as you can get.

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 05-29-2009 at 11:47 PM..
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  #47  
Old 05-29-2009, 11:52 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Liberty University, AFAICT, doesn't have a law school.
Looks like they do:

Quote:
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said Liberty's recent action "had nothing to do with the political nature of the club" and was "solely based upon the moral issues of abortion and marriage."

SOURCE: http://sev.prnewswire.com/education/...8052009-1.html
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  #48  
Old 05-30-2009, 12:01 AM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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Err...I never thought Free Speech extended to allowing you to stand on my property and spew whatever was on your mind. My property, I can tell you to shove off. Your free speech rights do not prevent me from doing that.

It is University property. They are free to restrict its use and particularly since they are not playing favorites in that restriction...no one can have rallies. Seems about as even handed as you can get.
Uh, no. Public university, public space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
By banning all rallies, there is a clear First Amendment issue.
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  #49  
Old 05-30-2009, 12:12 AM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Uh, no. Public university, public space.
Huh...well, there are lots of public spaces around where I live and if I want to hold a rally I need a permit which can be denied.


Quote:
By banning all rallies, there is a clear First Amendment issue.
Three words:

Free Speech Zones:

"The existence of free speech zones is based on U.S. court decisions stipulating that the government may regulate the time, place, and manneróbut not contentóof expression."
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  #50  
Old 05-30-2009, 12:18 AM
Frank Frank is online now
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Three words:

Free Speech Zones:

"The existence of free speech zones is based on U.S. court decisions stipulating that the government may regulate the time, place, and manneróbut not contentóof expression."
The government may kindly fuck off. It is none of the government's business when or where or how I tell it or any other entity to fuck off. "Free speech zones" are an abomination.
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