Statement of Support for Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Wisconsin

MADISON – The College Republicans of UW-Madison firmly urge the administration of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to condemn the Student Coalition for Progress’ petition to denounce Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) at UW by classifying YAF as a hate group and forcing YAF members into mandatory diversity training.

On November 16th, 2016, outspoken conservative Benjamin Shapiro was invited by YAF to speak here on campus. Since the speech, a student organization called the Student Coalition for Progress, started a petition on Change.org that has garnered minimal support, but makes several unsubstantiated and damaging claims. The Student Coalition for Progress is not a registered student organization and there are no members to hold accountable for their actions.

Chairman of the College Republicans of UW-Madison, Jake Lubenow, released the following statement:

“The University of Wisconsin-Madison should immediately condemn this inflammatory petition that is at best damaging but could simply be labeled as libel. The petition does not make a single claim substantiated with evidence of any kind. YAF should be able to speak their opinions as long as they are not infringing on the rights of others. By attempting to silence YAF, the Student Coalition for Progress and the University of Wisconsin are infringing upon their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Our organization will not stand idly by while our campus violates the Constitution. We stand in solidarity with other conservative organizations on our campus as we continue to fight for the freedom of speech and association.”

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