Like other colleges across the nation, Coe College in Cedar Rapids is facing backlash over the rejection of a campus chapter of a conservative student group.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Coe's 30 member student senate this month denied an application for the group Turning Point USA, a national non-profit conservative group that has a presence at more than 1500 high schools and college campuses across that nation, including 20 in Iowa.

Many of those Iowa chapters have been hard-fought battles including Wartburg College and Drake University. Proposals at those schools were initially refused but students persisted and eventually won. The entire incident is at the heart of the free speech debate unfolding across American college campuses. Officials with Coe College say that they anticipate that Turning Point USA will reapply for group recognition once they satisfy all the student senate's requirements.

As the political divides widen, at least one Iowa lawmaker proposed legislation extending free speech guidelines to Iowa's private colleges. The bill didn't survive subcommittee.

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