In what can serve as an excellent lesson for campus officials who target the associational rights of their students, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) has reversed its ruling against a campus religious group and will now allow the club to operate at UNCG. Citizen Link reports that the school reversed its denial of recognition to the Make Up Your Own Mind club after the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the school for refusing to accept the club’s religious status and belief-based membership requirements.
The decision comes in light of the ongoing debate at Vanderbilt University over the school’s decision to institute a policy forbidding student organizations from imposing membership requirements based on belief. Just yesterday, twelve student organizations wrote an open letter to the Vanderbilt administration asking that it reverse its decision and "adopt a policy that not only clearly advances our shared commitment to non-discrimination but also adequately preserves the religious liberty and the creedal integrity of faith-based student groups." FIRE urges Vanderbilt University to take this message to heart and look to schools like UNCG as models for reform.
Schools: University of North Carolina – Greensboro 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