The Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the University of Wisconsin for denying their student chapter eligibility to receive student funding on Thursday.  The plaintiffs, whose lawsuit is being handled by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), are charging the University with violating its “viewpoint neutrality” standard in dispensing student fees by denying their chapter recognition as student group eligible to receive university monies. 

“Numerous other groups, including the Wisconsin Public Interest Group (WisPIRG) were granted eligibility though they do not provide near the services to students our club does,” noted CFACT spokeman Bill Gilles.  “The only difference between their groups and ours is our difference in philosophy,” he added.

In a press release issued by ADF, it was revealed that a member of the student government who weighed in on the CFACT funding decision indicated he was strongly opposed to CFACT’s ideology and mission – a clear violation of the university policy.  The release gives this account of the events:

“In Fall 2008, the University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter of Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow applied for eligibility to receive funds from the General Student Services Fund for the 2009-2010 academic year.  The club’s request was denied while the request of a politically liberal environmental group, the leftist counterpart to CFACT, was approved.  During the eligibility hearings, the Student Services Financial Committee determined that CFACT does not provide a service to students but determined that the other group does.  Afterwards, members of the SSFC made public statements expressing their disdain for CFACT and its views.

In a blog entry after the denial, a member of the committee wrote, “Tonight, SJ dismissed CFACT’s second appeal over their eligibility decision, all but ensuring the death of the group on campus as we currently know it.  Good riddens [sic] to an awful organization, one whose accomplishments include…[profanity]-ing with student-controlled finances throughout our country.  It’s convenient that this do-nothing, country-club, crazy right-wing group also didn’t meet the eligibility criteria for GSSF funding, the reason for their denial and agreed on by EVERY member of the SSFC.”

The CFACT chapter at Madison has been a recognized club for a number of years, boasting 200 interns receiving credit for project work with CFACT and a club membership of over 700 students.  The case will be heard in the Western Wisconsin U.S. District Court sometime this fall.

Link to ADF press release: