Wright State resolves student religious group issue

June 23, 2009

By Dave Larson at Dayton Daily News

A Christian student organization that claimed it was banned by Wright State University for the 2008-2009 academic year has received recognition for the coming school year, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

“Wright State advocates for diversity and we have resolved the registration matter with the Campus Bible Fellowship student organization so that they can practice the full expression of their religious beliefs on campus,” said Dan Abrahamowicz, university vice president for student affairs, on Monday, June 22.

Wright State in January withdrew recognition for the Campus Bible Fellowship “after the group refused to eliminate faith-based standards for its voting members,” according to a FIRE media statement.

The fellowship’s re-registration had been denied because its constitution did not include university-mandated “nondiscrimination” language, according to FIRE.

At that time, Wright State officials said the fellowship remained a recognized student organization. It had been denied campus privileges because of incomplete registration forms. The group had failed to submit the university nondiscrimination clause as part of their constitution, officials said.

On June 12, the fellowship was granted an exemption to Wright State’s registration and relationship policy by Rick Danals, university director of student activities. “You will be exempt from the requirement in WSU’s Equal Opportunity in Education Statement on religion and gender identity/expression,” Danals wrote.

“The Campus Bible Fellowship should be commended for standing up for its constitutional rights,” said Adam Kissel, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program. FIRE is headquartered in Philadelphia.

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