Affirmative Action

UMich Libertarian Students Prevail in Lawsuit Alleging Political Discrimination

YAL has agreed to drop its lawsuit in exchange for administrators revising the policy.

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UMich
Phoebelb / Wikimedia Commons

College campuses often seem culturally biased against non-liberals. But in some cases, political bias so deeply and obviously pervades official campus policy that no one can even defend it when challenged.

On that front, the Young Americans for Liberty declared victory in their legal battle with the University of Michigan after administrators agreed to pay out $14,000 and revise discriminatory funding policies.

Last year, YAL asked the university for $1,000 to bring anti-affirmative action activist Jennifer Gratz to speak on campus. UM collects mandatory fees from all students and uses them to subsidize events hosted by recognized student groups. But the university has a stated policy of declining to fund events deemed "political." Though the Gratz event was merely a lecture on the history of the affirmative action issue—and was open to all students—UM considered it a political event and did not provide funds.

The policy was not applied evenly, of course. UM funded plenty of student groups' political activities, provided that these groups manifested some left-of-center ideology or purpose. Student activity funds subsidized immigrants' rights conferences, Islamic groups, and even pro-affirmative action events. According to YAL's lawsuit, the university helped a students from the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) travel to Washington, D.C., to demonstrate on the Supreme Court steps in favor of race-based admissions preferences.

At least UM has recognized its group funding policy was clearly biased. YAL has agreed to drop its lawsuit in exchange for administrators revising the policy. UM will also pay $5,000 to the club and $9,000 to its lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom.

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  1. College campuses often seem culturally biased against non-liberals.

    I don’t think there’s any “seem” about it, and continue to be baffled by Reason’s kid-gloves approach to dealing with its ideological enemies.

  2. There are libertarians in Ann Arbor? I call BS.

    1. I know one of the engineering professors and her family. They’re like 80% libertarian.

      1. Purity Test fail!

        1. But close enough for government work.

          1. I see what you did there…

    2. I’m in Ann Arbor.

    3. Yes, but they’re about as rare as wolverines in Michigan. I’m libertarian and live in AA. There’s even a Washtenaw County Libertarian Party.

  3. The policy was not applied evenly, of course.

    Doy. Speakers with political views that fall in line with those held by faculty and administrators are so obviously correct in their thinking that said views aren’t really political, just common sense.

    1. Yet are also apparently so patently non-obvious and unintuitive that even the believers must bring in speakers to keep pounding it back into their feeble little minds.

      1. Kids these days. What can you do?

        1. Arrest anyone with tenure for violations of the students’ civil rights due to their abrogation of freedom of speech.

  4. Student activity funds … even pro-affirmative action events.

    That seems like a pretty open and shut case.

    Did UofM infringe on Soave’s free speech rights to alt-text?

    1. “Did UofM infringe on Soave’s free speech rights to alt-text?”

      The senate going to put that in the new constitutional amendment.

  5. But in some cases, political bias so deeply and obviously pervades official campus policy that no one can even defend it when challenged.

    It is axiomatic that cheerleaders from both the left and the right can be counted on to defend the indefensible with the greatest of fervor.

  6. Fuck that school up north.

    That is all.

    1. That is all your vocabulary, you mean.

  7. For EDG Reppin’

    FUCK MICHIGAN!

    /Live 1/2 Hour Away – Fuck That Libertardhole

  8. I’d comment, but I went to school in the PRM (People’s Republic of Madison) and was a card-carrying party member for the first 2 1/2 years or so I was there.

    On topic: I distinctly remember going to a David Horowitz lecture and being appalled at the behavior of my fellow leftists (at the time, I’ve since reformed). They literally booed him off stage and wouldn’t let him talk. Very tolerant indeed.

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