Friday, May 22, 2009

Liberty University Revokes Recognition of College Democrats

The Washington Post today reports that Liberty University, the conservative Christian school located in Lynchburg, Virginia, has withdrawn recognition of Liberty University College Democrats as a student organization. The move comes as the University adopts a new policy governing student organizations. An e-mail sent to the group from the University's vice-president for student affairs says: "We are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by Liberty University." (Full text of new policy and of e-mail revoking College Democrats' recognition). Maria Childress, the club's adviser, says she is trying to appeal the decision to the school's chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr. The Lynchburg (VA) News-Advance reports on a statement Falwell made today regarding the suspension:
"That club still has the right to exist," Falwell said, although it cannot use the university’s name in its activities. "They still can meet on campus," in certain rooms, he said. "There is absolutely no animosity at all toward any of these kids. They are good, Christian kids who sit with me at ball games. I just hope they find a pro-life family organization to affiliate with so they can be endorsed by Liberty again."
Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine issued a statement on Democratic national Committee letterhead urging the University to reverse its decision. [Thanks to both Don Byrd and Bob Ritter for the lead.]