Saturday, September 10, 2016

The YAF brouhaha: righties flip out, leaving slime and worse

Lovett, addressing the board, 2008
     Perhaps you’ve already heard about the “story” concerning Saddleback College students who sought to start a “Young Americans for Freedom” club on campus and who further sought to arrange a 9-11 commemorative event on campus. Evidently, they never turned in the paperwork to become a club, and thus their event was cancelled. They had placed lurid "Never forget" posters all around campus, many of them not in the designated allowable places, and so, at one point, history professor Margo Lovett took some of the illegal posters down. These YAF kids filmed that, and the footage ended up on various right wing websites—and even on Fox News (See History professor rips down campus 9/11 ‘Never Forget’ posters (VIDEO) and College campus craziness with Hume and O'Reilly (FOX News)).
YAF poster
     I do hope you all remember that the district’s rules concerning free speech zones and postings are a product of successful litigation brought by students in the late 90s and early 2000s in response to SOCCCD’s unlawful and otherwise questionable restrictions of their 1st Amendment rights. (See Student sue district over 1st Amendment.) Attorney Carol Sobel (for the ACLU), Wendy Gabriella, and the students achieved the degree of freedom that students now enjoy—in terms of these rules.
     Saddleback College has issued a statement, shedding needed light on the case (see Saddleback College statement below).
     Predictably, we’ve already heard about ugly and disturbing comments about Margot on the Saddleback College Facebook page and in the right-wing blogosphere. (Sample: "That woman needs to be beaten"; "Kick her face off"; "Shoot that pig in the head.") Bill O’Reilly has already compared the action at Saddleback to actions by the Nazis and the Soviet Union in the 30s.
     He also threw the YAFer kids under the bus: this story is about "stupid college kids," he smirked along with pal Brit Hume. But, he added, college administrators are "even dumber," what with their freedom-hating, PC-enforcing ways, I guess.
     Good grief.
     We’ll keep you posted.

     Saddleback College officials have issued the following statement:
   Saddleback College supports student clubs and their right to organize and exercise their freedom of speech.  At the beginning of each academic year, in order to organize meetings and hold events, student clubs must go through an activation process that includes an orientation, the establishment of a club constitution and by-laws, and the appointment of a faculty adviser.
     Young Americans for Freedom contacted the college’s student development office before fall semester classes began to state their intention to plan an event commemorating 9/11.  The director made clear that the students would have to complete the club activation process before the event could be approved. As of today the students have not completed the requirements to form a club.
     On September 8th, the students posted stickers and flyers on several campus buildings, which is a violation of South Orange County Community College District policy. The students also did this without first seeking approval from college administration. However, flyers that were posted by the students in the designated free speech areas on campus have not been removed by college personnel.
     The director of student life has reached out to the students and invited them to meet and discuss the steps that can be taken to work collaboratively with the college in the future and in accordance with college and district policies and procedures.
     Saddleback College supports and understands the students' desire to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001, but needs to ensure that the college and district policies and procedures are followed. 

THE NATION, October 5, 1998 -  “What do students want?”
     Now the students [students Delilah Snell and Diep Burbridge], represented by the ACLU, are suing [IVC President Raghu] Mathur and the [SOCCCD] board for violating their First Amendment rights. According to the lawsuit, filed this past summer, the demonstrations were relocated from the center of campus to an isolated area where students were told to keep their noise level down. When the limits were questioned, students were told it was not in the “best interest of the college” to hold a longer protest in a more visible part of campus, given the “political climate.” (Author: IVC graduate and Nation intern Sanaz Mozafarian.)
IVC student protests: Delilah Snell at center; Deb Burbridge at right; circa 1998
From the district's Administrative Reg 8000, section V, "posting of material"


Anonymous said...

Saddleback has signs on most buildings that clearly state that other than official statements (example--the recent findings of Zika mosquito sightings and the importance of avoiding dusk and sunrise as times to be about the campus). We have a policy about where free speech areas are.

Anonymous said...

Yearly we must remind the newbies of every rule. SMH

Anonymous said...

-Evidently, they never turned in the paperwork to become a club, and thus their event was cancelled.

Umm, wrong.

They were far into the process of obtaining approval as a club.

Which is why the Saddlebrook College website, under Active Clubs, has listed the following for some time:
"Young Americans for Freedom
Club Status: In Process
Contact: Audra Leslie, President:"

Furthermore, let's have a look at the Meeting Minutes of the Inter Club Council, Associated Student Government, Saddleback College from April 21st, 2016(emphasis mine).

"Young Americans for Freedom: We are Young Americans for Freedom club,
and we just completed our level 2 training. We are a conservative action group
with the purpose of providing an alternative point of view on various issues. We
meet Thursdays at 12:30pm in SSC 211c."

That's all fine and good, the Administration counters, but YAF didn't finish the club approval process:
"The director made clear that the students would have to complete the club activation process before the event could be approved. As of today the students have not completed the requirements to form a club."

Ah, but there's a rub - according to YAF, the Administration wanted to tinker with the YAF's bylaws before granting it full recognition as a club.

“The constitution and bylaws have not changed since last year, and last year they didn’t have a problem with us,” said Saddleback YAF chapter chair Audra Leslie. “They only have a problem now that we are trying to hold an event, which shows how colleges seek to stop conservative organizations from holding events on campus.”

You can decide yourself whether the YAF's or the Administration's account seems more plausible.

Anonymous said...

Who is the faculty advisor for the club?

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the ASG and administration have been stonewalling YAF's application and approval...

Roy Bauer said...

Right, 'cause everyone knows that the board and Saddleback administration are Lefties.
Far from it, my friend.
The policy being wielded here (AR8000) was created by our old right-wing board as part of a settlement when the district was sued by some students with the help of the ACLU. Administrators kept shutting down student protests, free speech. And so AR8000 was created in the settlement, a concession by the right-wingers. I am confident that, if Professor Lovett had had a say in the settlement, she would have argued for fewer restrictions, not more restrictions. But the restrictions are what they are, and the YAF posters were taken down accordingly.

Roberta P said...

really sad. Memorial posters were not in the free speech designated areas?! What a mess our "higher" educational system is in.

Anonymous said...

11:55 did not say anything about the board, Roy.

Anonymous said...

I think Roy mentioned the board because of the policy regarding posters, etc. which is a BOARD policy.

Anonymous said...

Go Lovett

Anonymous said...

Can't have a club without an advisor.

Anonymous said...

Didn't David Bowie sing about those Young Americans?

Anonymous said...

Bowie's Young Americans were a different kettle of fish. "He coughs as he passes her Ford Mustang"

Anonymous said...

You mean like turn your head and cough?

The Trumpian @ IVC

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