In January, Florida A&M University officials had placed the student group “Commissioned 2 Love” on “inactive status”. Their reasoning was; because the club’s adviser [who was assigned by the university] was not present at all of the group’s gatherings. The Florida A&M Student Handbook states that student organization advisers, who are assigned by the university and not chosen by the clubs themselves, must “attend and remain present for the duration of all organizational meetings, official functions, and sponsored activities.”
Based on this, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) sent officials of Florida A&M University a letter yesterday urging them to reinstate a Christian student group they de-recognized in January and banned from engaging in activities on campus. This rule, says ADF’s Jeremy Tedesco , would allow the university to “appoint an atheist to oversee a Christian group, a meat-eater to advise a vegetarian group, or a Republican to provide direction to College Democrats”. He said that the policy is not only unconstitutional, but absurd.
According to the ADF letter, this requirement is unconstitutional because it gives university employees complete and unbridled discretion over whether a student group’s meeting or speech will occur.
The ADF letter also points out that the university’s policies violate the Constitution because they “compel student organizations to associate with government employees who they may not want to associate with, and who in fact may be adverse to the group’s mission and expression.
Even worse, the students are not given the authority to select their own advisers, but rather the Associate Vice President for Student Life appoints advisers for student organizations…. FAMU’s policies are particularly egregious violations of the right to association, since they require the government employee with whom student organizations must associate to…‘[p]rovide counseling, leadership and direction regarding…the mission of the club or organization.’”
According to a related Competitive Enterprise Institute post, Obama has made it a priority to increase the amounts of money extracted from Christian taxpayers that are paid to secular universities that treat Christians like dirt.
Excerpt: (with links removed)
Education expert Neal McCluskey earlier lamented the failure of House Republicans to propose meaningful cuts in education spending, “despite the fact that the ivory tower is soaking in putrid, taxpayer-funded waste. Quite simply, the federal government pours hundreds of billions of dollars into our ivy-ensconced institutions every year, but what that has largely produced is atrociously low graduation rates; at-best dubious amounts of learning for those who do graduate; ever-fancier facilities; and rampant tuition inflation that renders a higher education no more affordable to students but keeps colleges fat and happy.” Shortly thereafter, in an effort to trim the deficit, House Republicans came out with some additional cuts, proposing the elimination of some wasteful education programs.
If the GOP is reluctant to make cuts, Obama is much, much worse: he earlier sought to double education spending, and Obama’s recent State of the Union called for more increases in education spending (and other wasteful boondoggles at taxpayer expense), even though many students learn little in college. As we noted earlier, half “the nation’s undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college,” according to a study cited in USA Today. “36% showed little change” even after four years. Although education spending has exploded, students “spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago.” “32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week.” States spend hundreds of millions of dollars operating colleges that are worthless diploma mills, yet manage to graduate almost no one — like Chicago State, “which has just a 12.8 percent six-year graduation rate.”
Wake up! Not only do Christians need to do a lot more studying of these issues, so that we can ground our social views with public evidence and research, but we also need to do a lot better job of developing an understanding of fiscal conservatism that reflects our individual goals and priorities. The left is not on your side – stop giving them other people’s money.