Can Liberty University Ban College Democrats?

As many may have already seen, Jerry Falwell's Liberty University has moved to preclude the College Democrats from officially organizing on the campus while allowing College Republicans to continue to operate.

Liberty University will no longer recognize its campus Democratic club because, officials say, the national party's platform goes against the conservative Christian school's moral principles.

[...]

The college officials "let the Liberty University College Republicans stay on campus, but they don't let us," said Brian Diaz, 18, the club's president. "Sounds like censorship to me."

When reading this news I immediately thought about a case I read for a non-profit tax class I took this spring, American Campaign Academy v. C.I.R., 92 T.C. 1053 (1989), in which the Tax Court stripped the exemption of a purportedly educational organization for acting in an excessively partisan manner. In that case, an academy was created to teach individuals the skills necessary to work in political campaigns. All of the graduates of the academy went on to work for Republican candidates, and the academy itself stemmed from a similar training program previously administered by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

It's worth noting that the facts of the Liberty University situation do not exactly comport with those in American Campaign Academy. Although the late Jerry Falwell played an important role in the Republican coalition and Liberty University itself has been used by Republicans for important addresses, the nexus between the institution and the GOP is considerably more attenuated than the connection between the American Campaign Academy and the NRCC.

That said, it appears that Liberty University is endorsing a Republican Party organization while barring a Democratic Party organization. Whether this action rises to the level of the type of excessively partisan action the Tax Court has already ruled to run afoul of laws regulating non-profit organizations remains to be seen. But it seems to me to be worth exploring, at the least.

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Liberty University Revokes Student Democratic Party Club Charter

By:  Robert Lalka

Cross Posted from FaithfulDemocrats.com

The Lynchburg, Virginia, News and Advance is reporting this morning that Liberty University has taken the brazenly undemocratic step of revoking the charter of the student-led Democratic Party club, with Mark Hine, vice president of student affairs, stating that "we are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by" the university. Brian Diaz, the president of LU's student Democratic Party club, has explained that "It kind of happened out of nowhere" without any forewarning from the school's administration or meetings with the student organization.  In the e-mail Mr. Diaz received, Hine wrote that:

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Howard Dean to Speak at UW-Milwaukee Nov. 27th

The College Democrats at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are proud to present DNC Chair, Gov. Howard Dean on Nov. 27th at 10am at the University Union in the Wisconsin Room.

The Governor will discuss the role that college students will play in Wisconsin and across the country in the 2008 elections.

The event is free and open to the public, but free tickets are required as there is limited seating.

If anyone is interested please contact the College Democrats at UW-Milwaukee at uwm@wiscollegedems.org

Nov. 27th 10AM

University Union

2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. Milwaukee WI

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Launch of the Georgetown Progressive

Today, November 5th, 2007, is the launch of The Georgetown Progressive.  The Progressive is a new web-based publication written by students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  The Georgetown Progressive will be a publication providing commentary and analysis on national and campus issues alike, and will be available completely free at www.georgetownprogressive.com

Recently, the GU College Democrats have launched a campus-wide initiative called the Progressive Coalition.  The project aims to unite independent, progressive groups on campus with the common goal of engaging more students in democratic (and Democratic) activism.  The initiative is run by the College Democrats, but look below the fold to learn about the other organizations involved and what you can do to help...

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DNC Youth Outreach Not Walking the Walk

Cross-posted at Future Majority.

I just finished watching a speech that Howard Dean delivered recently at Johns Hopkins University.  In this speech,  Dean said all the right things about the youth vote. He noted that Millennials are the largest generation in America - bigger even than the Baby Boom - and the most diverse.  That we are turning out in disproportionately high numbers compared to Gen X when they were the youngest generation.  The chairman noted that people choose their party affiliation early in life, and talked about the importance of bringing young voters into the Democratic Party.

For a youth vote advocate, the speech was everything I wanted to hear.  For a former Deaniac, it reminded me exactly why I supported the Governor in the first place.  Yet at the same time, it's disappointing because the DNC is failing to live up to Dean's words.  As Ben Adler (formerly of Campus Progress) notes in an  excellent article in the Politico:

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