The student group organizing a discussion about the Second Amendment has publicly criticized the university for restrictions placed on the promotion of the event, as well as on the raffle prize.
In a post on the Young Americans for Freedom website, Kathleen D’Urso, president of the university’s YAF chapter, wrote that she was “shocked by the degree of political correctness shown by administrators on this issue.”
However, university officials said they were trying to send a consistent message to students about firearms on campus.
Bay Buchanan, who was U.S. Treasurer during the Reagan administration, is set to speak Wednesday evening. According to the organization's website, the goal of YAF is "to advocate for the ideas of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional values and a strong national defense."
Initially, YAF wanted to promote the event with advertisements that interspersed images of Reagan, Buchanan and an antique shotgun. D’Urso said the administrators of the TCU Facebook page wouldn’t post the ad because of “gun references.”
However, Amy Peterson, new media specialist for the university, wrote in an email to D'Urso that Lisa Albert, TCU director of Strategic Communications, recommended against running the ad on university social media because it is a student-led event.
YAF's request for permission to raffle off a concealed handgun training class to anyone over the age of 21 was not approved by the Brown-Lupton University Union.
D'Urso, a junior political science major, said the raffle was intended to encourage attendance, but that the university denied the petition on the grounds that the age limit made the raffle unfair.
“We realized this was a valid point, and decided to raffle off a training class for anyone over 18 instead,” she said.
The organization’s amended raffle was again rejected.
Natalie Boone, assistant director of the BLUU, said there wasn’t an issue with YAF raffling something off. The issue was with the potential message that was being sent.
“The University Union does not want to send any conflicting messages to the student body regarding guns on campus. We felt it was important to deny the request for the raffle in the union during the YAF event.”
After many failed attempts to come up with another raffle idea, the organization resorted to handing out cookies, D’Urso said.
Bay Buchanan will speak on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in the BLUU ballroom.
Editor's note: This article was updated at 4:04 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9 to reflect the administration's reason for not running the ad on university social media.