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Wisconsin Students Demand Ban On Conservative Group, Mandatory Diversity Training

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) are petitioning the school to ban a campus conservative group after it invited journalist Ben Shapiro to speak on campus.

Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) has numerous chapters throughout the U.S., and has frequently riled up students and administrators with its right-of-center antics.

Now, some students at UW-Madison want the school’s chapter banned entirely and have created a petition demanding just that. They say YAF was previously a tolerable organization, but went beyond the pale this fall when it invited Shapiro to deliver a speech on campus last month. Shapiro events at other schools have repeatedly been the subject of large and over-the-top protests from progressive students. (RELATED: DePaul University Bans Ben Shapiro)

“Shapiro has used his following and nationally syndicated media presence to deny the realities of systematic and institutional violences against Black and Brown people, sexual assault survivors, Muslims, LGBTQIA+ people, people with low income, people with differing abilities, undocumented immigrants, and anyone that is systematically targeted along identity lines,” says the petition, created by a group calling itself the Student Coalition for Progress.

The petition further faults YAF for creating a “hostile environment” by “misgender[ing] LGBTQIA+ students” making members of the student government feel “unsafe.”

“We, the undersigned are asking that UW-Madison administration take a hard look at the charter of Young Americans for Freedom … and ideally put the involved students through intensive diversity training and have the charter revoked so Y.A.F. is no longer a campus organization that can create a hostile environment on campus,” the petition reads.

So far, the petition doesn’t seem to be resonating. Despite being active more than day, it has fewer than 200 signatures.

YAF itself isn’t terribly impressed either.

“These pathetic attempts to bully me and my chapter out of promoting conservative ideas on campus are only inspiring us to be more vocal about our beliefs,” YAF chair Kara Bell told Young America’s Foundation, YAF’s parent organization.

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