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Another instance of campus progressives controlling free speech.

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Loyola Says “No? to Rove, “Yes? to Obama Appointee

Another instance of campus progressives controlling free speech.

Once again America’s college and universities have firmly placed themselves in favor of supporting left-wing special interests and are failing to allow an open discussion of all ideas. Administrators at Loyola University-Chicago are barring a speech by Karl Rove this October because the school is worried it will violate the school’s tax status.

Young America’s Foundation activist Sean Vera, who is working to organize the event, contacted Young America’s Foundation late last spring to book the event for October. Sean jumped through all the university’s hoops in order to receive the necessary funding to move forward with the event.

He recently received an email from Kimberly Moore, director of student affairs and Greek affairs, stating that the date had to be changed until after the November election because of Loyola’s “policies related to hosting political speakers.” She wrote, “Loyola University-Chicago enjoys a tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code; thus preventing us from participating in any political campaign … any and all invitations to elected officials, political candidates, political campaign representatives, and related speakers must be approved.”

However, Loyola administrators apparently haven’t figured out that Karl Rove is neither an elected official, a political candidate, nor a campaign representative. Regardless, Loyola officials didn’t have a problem approving visits in the fall of 2004—a presidential election year—by Howard Dean and Ralph Nader. Nader’s presence was an outright campaign appearance where donations were solicited. Furthermore, this fall, Loyola is hosting Eboo Patel, who was appointed by President Obama to the White House’s Interfaith Council.

This clearly shows an inconsistent pattern, and one would think Loyola would change its tune and allow Rove to speak, right? Wrong!

Despite Rove’s speech being sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, which is also a 501(c)(3) organization, Loyola has developed another excuse to keep Rove off campus on the originally scheduled date. 

According to Kimberly Moore, “The topic of Karl Rove’s speech becomes irrelevant because the perception is that he is a representative of a specific political party, which in turn could demonstrate partiality.”

So, it doesn’t matter what a speaker’s designated speech topic is, or their background, it’s what Loyola officials assume the “perception” of the invited speaker will be. Loyola’s “perception” of party affiliation is being applied rather selectively, as is obvious in their hosting of an Obama appointee and the barring of Karl Rove.

Loyola’s actions also suggest that the six other schools who are hosting Karl Rove this fall in association with Young America’s Foundation are also violating their non-profit tax status. 
Clearly, Karl Rove is so effective in combating liberal ideas that Loyola is creating excuses to keep a successful, New York Times best-selling author from appearing on campus to discuss issues that all reasonable students should care about. This decision is truly unfortunate and unfair to the entire student body.

Written By

Mr. Coyle is vice president for the Young America's Foundation.

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