Robert on Vanderbilt’s Nondiscrimination Policy Issues in ‘The Daily Caller’

By November 1, 2011

In light of recent transgressions by Vanderbilt University against the freedoms of religion and association, FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley has penned an opinion article in The Daily Caller bringing some attention to the absurdity of Vanderbilt’s student group policies when dealing with the Vanderbilt chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS) and other religious student groups. Robert writes:

Nobody should be surprised that religious groups, on or off campus, prefer to be led by people who share their faith. Demanding that a religious student group not ask its leaders to share the beliefs of the group serves no one. Who benefits when nonbelievers have the right to lead campus religious groups? Certainly not the students who attend the group.

Not only are Vanderbilt’s policies a detriment to expressive student groups that are in compliance, but they also leave these groups vulnerable to takeover by students who do not necessarily agree with the group’s stated mission. Robert touches on this point as well:

Indeed, the only people potentially benefited by such rules are those who wish to destroy minority religious groups. For instance, imagine that CLS has 10 members, but there is a group of 20 students who don’t like CLS’s message. Under Vanderbilt’s rules, these 20 students could join the group, vote themselves into office, and then hijack or disband the group altogether.

FIRE’s views on this matter are shared by at least 23 members of Congress as well. Head over to The Daily Caller to read the rest of Robert’s article and learn more about Vanderbilt’s treatment of religious groups on campus.

Schools: Vanderbilt University Cases: Nationwide: “All-comers” Policies Jeopardize Free Association Vanderbilt University: Refusal to Approve Constitutions of Student Groups that Require Leaders to Share Beliefs