Pace University: Christian Student Organization Denied Recognition

Category: Religious Liberty
Schools: Pace University

After months of pressure from FIRE, Pace Law School approved the constitution of the Christian Law Students Association (CLSA), allowing the group to pursue its religious mission. CLSA leader Cari Rincker tried to form a chapter of the national Christian Legal Society (CLS), calling her group the Pace Christian Legal Society (PCLS). In accordance with national CLS rules, she drafted a constitution that limited membership to students who were willing to sign and live by a statement of faith. After receiving hostility around campus, Rincker changed the constitution taking out the required statement of faith and adding, “Those that disagree with any or all of the aforementioned beliefs are still welcome to be members.” With a new group name, Christian Law Students Association, Rincker applied for recognition. Despite Pace’s clear promise to grant students freedom of association, the Student Bar Association rejected the group’s application for recognition. FIRE wrote to then-Law School Dean Stephen J. Friedman and eventually the group was granted recognition.

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      Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, is being asked to reverse its decision to deny recognition to a campus Christian student group. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the school refuses to give the Christian Legal Society chapter official status, even after “remarkable concessions” by the faith-based group. The Student Bar Association at Pace Law School in White Plains has denied official recognition to the campus chapter of the Christian Legal Society. The move comes despite the fact that the Christian group added “sexual orientation” to a non-discrimination clause in its constitution and opened membership […]

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    • Victory for Freedom of Association at Pace Law School

      August 8, 2007

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    • Pace Recognizes Christian Group

      February 26, 2007

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    • Pace Law School Denies Recognition to Religious Student Organization

      January 29, 2007

      WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 29, 2007—The Student Bar Association (SBA) at Pace Law School has denied official recognition to a Christian student organization, claiming that the group’s religious identity would not be welcoming to non-Christian students. The group’s leadership contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help soon after the SBA delivered its decision. “Pace Law School recognizes numerous ideological student organizations, so religious groups should be afforded the same rights,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “A public university would be constitutionally bound to recognize the Christian group, and a law school that promises freedom of expression […]

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