Young America’s Foundation’s attempt to shed light on the goings-on at the University of Virginia (UVA) by releasing a video that used footage from a controversial meeting of the school’s student council has prompted the latter to start hiding what it calls “general body recordings” from the public.
Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a youth organization, created the video showing the council’s members passing a resolution to put in place a “strike system” (perhaps inspired by social media censorship techniques) for the university’s professors, if they speak in ways the student government finds offensive.
The meeting took place in November, and YAF published its video the same month, saying it showed UVA council members attack another, a YAF activist, for opposing the resolution that was eventually passed, and speaking in favor of due process instead of “strikes.”
WATCH: YAF obtained footage from a UVA student government meeting where members attack their fellow representative—who is also a YAF activist—for advocating due process in opposition to a resolution instituting a "strike" policy for professors who "offend." pic.twitter.com/R0ZoiFg06c
The student government then explained that restricting access to footage from its meetings had to do with concern for the well-being of its members, and would be in force for the foreseeable future.
This made YAF spokesperson Spencer Brown accuse the council not only of trying to advance illiberal policies and silence conservative members, but also eliminate transparency from the proceedings.
Brown told the College Fix that the video had not been deceptively edited – as alleged by the student government – and revealed the organization gained access to it via its Campus Bias Tip Line – a page set up on its website to help students hold their schools accountable.
Brown explained that YAF used a video that was public and that council members had shared before the organization covered it, prompting a change in policy and a decision to hide the goings-on in subsequent meetings.
But some legal experts, like attorney Adam Steinbaugh of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education think that the council has an obligation to remain transparent with its activities, particularly as the Zoom meetings in question are public to begin with.
Meanwhile, YAF said it was seeking legal advice, and revealed that the video they published resulted in threats of violence against the group.