Friday, July 20, 2018

Young Americans for Liberty settle Berkeley suit

UC Berkeley settles lawsuit filed by libertarian student group - Ryan Geller, Daily Californian:

July 5, 2018 - "UC Berkeley settled an alleged discrimination lawsuit that was filed by the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, or YAL, by adjusting the campus’s application process for Registered Student Organizations, or RSOs.

"YAL, a campus libertarian student group, claimed in the lawsuit that UC Berkeley denied the group’s RSO application because it was 'too similar' to other groups on campus.... The settlement included $8,250 for legal fees and other losses as well as a requirement that UC Berkeley post clear statements of policy and the campus RSO guidelines on its website.

"According to Khader Kakish, president of the UC Berkeley chapter of YAL, UC Berkeley told YAL in an email to work with Cal Libertarians because of the similarity between the two groups. Kakish added that YAL was also asked to provide proof that it had made an attempt to work with Cal Libertarians and submit a 'statement of uniqueness' if it wanted to continue the application process....

"YAL has more than 900 chapters across the country at public and private universities, where the group promotes personal and civil liberties as well as the importance of free-market economics, Kakish said. Alliance Defending Freedom, a network of attorneys that advocates for free speech for faith communities, took on the UC Berkeley YAL chapter’s lawsuit initially on a pro bono basis, according to Kakish.....

"UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore said in an email that the campus’s policy is to encourage new student organizations to consult with existing organizations that are similar and ... added that campus policies were not actually changed as a result of the settlement.....

"Gilmore said in an email that the campus is satisfied with the settlement and that the money paid to the plaintiff recognized that YAL members did receive an email that was unclear about the application process and existing policy. Gilmore also stated that once YAL expressed its dissatisfaction to the campus, its RSO status was granted.

"According to Kakish, the group’s RSO status was not granted until after the lawsuit was filed."

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