Demonstrating once again how tolerant the Left really is, the student government of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) denied a request to form a pro-life student organization on campus because they considered it a “hate group” with “opinions that get people killed.”
During an October 7 Zoom meeting of the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG), the body considered whether to grant official recognition to a UNI chapter of Students for Life (SFL). Video clips of the event released by the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) show both the student leaders’ eagerness to quash any speech with which they disagree and their incredible ability to engage in doublethink.
“This is a hate group, this is hate speech, this is hateful rhetoric that is infringing on basic human rights of healthcare,” said senator Max Tensen. Tensen’s remark reveals that he believes not only that abortion is healthcare, a view hardly embraced by all medical professionals, but also that merely advocating for a change in the legal status of the unborn somehow violates human rights.
Tensen went on to state that “we cannot support diversity and be complicit in its destruction at the same time.” The irony of silencing particular opinions while favoring diversity was apparently lost on him.
“Approving this bill is the same thing as approving a white supremacist group,” said another senator, obviously oblivious to the fact that abortion has killed more black Americans than the Ku Klux Klan could ever have dreamed of killing.
The same senator fretted that, should she become pregnant, SFL would “try to force me not to abort my child,” a strangely skewed sentiment. Would the senator object to, say, an anti-lynching group because it might try to force racists not to kill blacks?
In his comments against approving SFL’s application, senator Triet Ngo said it “should serve as an example of us not tolerating any infringement to human rights.” Pro-lifers’ opinions “can result in catastrophic consequences for reproductive rights,” he added.
“I would argue that not all opinions are equal,” he said. “There are opinions, and then there are opinions that get people killed in many cases.” Of course, the number of people killed by pro-lifers is dwarfed by the number killed by abortionists, but one would never know that from listening to Ngo.
Some senators said their constituents would object to spending student fees, which approval would allow UNI’s SFL chapter to access, on such an organization. Meanwhile, the campus has officially sanctioned chapters of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which surely not all UNI students support.
Senator Caleb Stekl, a YDSA member, dismissed concerns that the university could be sued for viewpoint discrimination if the SFL application were denied, saying it was a “privileging of money … over student well-being.”
Ultimately, NISG denied the application. Student leader Sophia Schuster — one of those women whose rights would supposedly be infringed if SFL got its way — appealed the decision to the student supreme court, which upheld it despite the fact that NISG admitted to the court that it had no case against SFL. The court instead found that the group was not being formed “in good faith” or “with a lawful purpose.”
“I wasn’t really surprised by how NISG reacted because I know abortion is a controversial topic, but I was shocked by how they allowed their emotions and personal opinions to influence their decision,” said Schuster. “Students for Life met all of the requirements for being approved set forth by UNI, but they completely ignored that fact. I think they have overstepped their role and tried to use their power to silence us just because they disagree. This is a direct attack on free speech and of due process of law and an example of abandoning standards that they claim to hold.”
Schuster has appealed to UNI president Mark Nook. Judging from a university statement to YAF saying that “UNI will not uphold a decision that violates the First Amendment and university policy,” the chances of Nook’s overturning the decision appear to be very good.
But whatever happens, the incident has provided yet another glimpse into the minds of tomorrow’s leaders, and it is not a pretty picture.
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