The administration at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, nicknamed the University at Buffalo, is not pleased with Christian Andzel.
You see, he’s a conservative rising senior recruiting more students to his cause, and the university has attempted to silence him and his club members.
The University at Buffalo (UB) Students for Life club, of which Christian was president, hosted the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Genocide Awareness Project last semester. It compares the victims of abortion to the victims of the genocides of world history.
The panel display attracted a lot of attention from students and faculty members, and subsequent confrontation by radical feminist professors who shouted expletives at pro-life students. One female professor was later arrested by the police for accosting a student. Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, covered the incident.
Christian, a Leadership Institute graduate, had the courage to politely confront one of the professors who protested his club’s display.
But another professor filed charges of “disruption” against Christian. If he’s found guilty of these charges, Christian faces an unnecessarily harsh punishment involving community service hours and a mark on his record.
So now, he is suing his university for not protecting his right to free assembly and speech.
“I am in two big lawsuits against my university because I believe in freedom and, at the University at Buffalo, there have been times when freedoms are not protected,” Christian said. “I will be the last person they bully and coerce with unconstitutional policies and actions.”
The university unfairly charged Christian’s group a heightened security fee when they hosted a debate, and the university went after Christian when he spoke out against a professor in the classroom.
“I am the defendant in this case, University at Buffalo v. Christian Andzel, because I raised my hand in class and spoke up in a respectful manner about content the professor did not agree with. To make an example of me she filed school charges of ‘disruption,’” Christian said.
Christian is cautiously optimistic about the case. Free speech, he says, must be safeguarded for all students, even conservative ones.
“I want to be very clear and say I did not disrupt the class. If she thinks providing an opinion is disruption, and if the court rules against me, we will see a dangerous precedent where when professors do not like what a student says, she or he can report the student for disruption. Say goodbye to our freedom of speech,” Christian said. “We must stand strong and fight for freedom in our classrooms.”
Despite these pending cases, Christian plans to continue more conservative events, speakers, and campaigns. He’ll continue to use the skills he acquired through Leadership Institute trainings. His plans for the semester include holding a pro-life human rights conference, hosting several speakers, and recruiting more students to all conservative-leaning clubs on campus.
Christian credits his Catholic faith and love of country as driving forces behind his activism. He is a tireless defender of faith, family, and freedom – and he’s not afraid to champion these principles on campus.
Like a growing number of young people today, Christian affirmed his conservative beliefs in college.
“I became a conservative because in my early years of college I was sick of the left pushing their values onto me in a rather forceful way,” Christian said. “Liberalism deteriorates families and the economy. I needed answers and policies that could fix the stagnation and decline -- and the answers lie in conservatism.”
He added, “I am a conservative because I know that free enterprise and free markets, traditional values, and a common-sense foreign policy is what has made and will continue to make America great and prosperous.”
Christian has been involved in conservative groups for most of his collegiate career. Currently, Christian serves as the president of UB Conservatives, a group that promotes conservative values of limited government, traditional values, and strong national defense.
He previously presided over the UB Students for Life club as president. Although UB repeatedly refused to recognize the pro-life club on campus, Christian worked tirelessly to make it happen – and his hard work paid off. In April 2012, the Students for Life club was officially recognized.
He has worked with the Young Americans for Liberty chapter to help grow the campus conservative coalition and was selected to be a Government Relations Coordinator within student government past year.
Outside of campus, Christian is involved in local Republican and conservative groups. He has volunteered for several candidates, including newly-elected Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27).
As an outspoken conservative on campus, Christian often is subject to attack by his liberal peers and professors.
“I face challenges, as an out and proud conservative activist, almost every day,” Christian admitted. “Some people know me on campus as that activist kid that loves to debate and think of solutions to today’s problems. I will constantly, in a respectful way, challenge the ideas of the liberal status quo in my peers and professors.”
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During his time in college, Christian has participated in a plethora of Leadership Institute trainings including the 2012 Student Leadership Conference, Public Speaking Workshop, and Campus Elections Workshop.
“The Leadership Institute has allowed me to flourish as a committed conservative activist because the staff has not only taken an interest in my conservative clubs, but they also care about me as an individual. LI wants to ensure that as an activist you are well prepared for the battlefield,” Christian said.
You too can be “prepared for the battlefield” by working with your Regional Field Coordinator this fall to challenge bias on your campus and stand up for your freedom. Contact Mike Armstrong at MArmstrong@LeadershipInstitute.org to get connected to the person who specifically works with students in your state.
He added, “Without the Leadership Institute, I would not be where I am today because they have always had my back. The left on campus hates me and in several ways has gone out of their way to demonize and destroy my credibility. I will continue to fight back with Leadership Institute’s help because this war of ideas – and our future – is worth it.”
Christian will be graduating from the University at Buffalo next spring with Bachelor’s degree in political science and history.
Please congratulate Christian Andzel on his activism, and please applaud him for receiving LI’s most recent Conservative Leader-In-Training award.
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award where they will have an article written about them, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.