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Univ. at Buffalo blocks Young Americans for Freedom chapter's financial account

College or University Building

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Travis Barham regarding a motion ADF attorneys filed Friday with a federal court asking it to prohibit the University at Buffalo and its Student Association from continuing to block Young Americans for Freedom from accessing the more than $6,000 that belongs to it:

“First, officials at the University at Buffalo violated Young Americans for Freedom’s constitutionally protected freedom by punishing the group for affiliating with off-campus allies. Then after we filed this case, officials adopted a new policy that requires groups to surrender their freedoms to get access to campus resources and benefits. And all this happens because instead of protecting a learning environment where all ideas and viewpoints are welcome, the university gives the Student Association free rein to continue implementing unconstitutional policies. Public universities cannot treat student organizations as if they are just a subordinate or extension of the university or student government. And they cannot demand that those groups give up their freedoms to get resources available to all other Student Association clubs.”

ADF attorneys filed the lawsuitUniversity at Buffalo Young Americans for Freedom v. University at Buffalo Student Association, in June of last year because the university’s Student Association unconstitutionally banned student groups like Young Americans for Freedom from affiliating with national organizations. A month later, the Student Association rescinded its policy and recognized YAF, but it replaced the policy with another unconstitutional one that requires student organizations and their leaders to give up their legal rights in order for the clubs to be officially recognized. Now, because Young Americans for Freedom rightly won’t sign a form waiving its legal rights, the Student Association has blocked the student group from accessing more than $6,000 in student-fee funding in its account, using authority given it by university officials.

  • Pronunciation guide: Barham (BEAR’-um)

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to protecting First Amendment and related freedoms for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.

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Travis Barham
Travis Barham
Senior Counsel
Travis C. Barham serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where he plays a key role with the ADF Center for Academic Freedom.