Saturday, May 03, 2003

UMiami update

Donna Shalala backed down under pressure over the Advocates for Conservative Thought debacle:

Several articles have appeared in the media today regarding the University of Miami's Committee on Student Organizations (COSO) and its decision to deny a student group recognition as an official student club. Such recognition is important because it allows student organizations access to funding, space, and other benefits through student activity fees.

The Committee on Student Organizations is enforcing a rule that was developed years ago by others. I think it is perfectly acceptable for Committee on Student Organizations to develop recommendations or standards for the formation of student organizations on campus. But the purpose and content of those organizations absolutely should not be subject to review.

On the surface, Committee on Student Organizations' policy may sound logical and defensible, given limited resources and space, but the end result is that the policy protects existing organizations and makes it challenging for new organizations to be formed.

I have asked Committee on Student Organizations to implement a new policy that is consistent with the principles of free speech, academic freedom, and competition.

In addition, I have asked them to convene a meeting immediately to review the application for the Advocates for Conservative Thought.

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