University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire E-mail Suspending RA Bible Study Ban

From: University News Bureau

Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 4:08 PM

Subject: Message from Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson
On behalf of Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson this message is being sent to all UW-Eau Claire students and employees.

To: Members of the UW-Eau Claire Campus Community

From: Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson

Effective immediately, UW-Eau Claire is suspending practices and policies prohibiting resident assistants from organizing, leading or recruiting for certain activities in the rooms and residence halls where they live.

I concluded the suspension is necessary after an initial campus review found that there have been inconsistencies in how the practice has been communicated to resident assistants and because UW System has announced that it will appoint a system-wide advisory committee that will provide guidance about RA activities.

The policies and practices in question prohibit RAs from organizing, leading and recruiting for certain activities in rooms and residence halls where they live and have supervisory authority over other students. Those include partisan politics and religious activities.

Those policies and practices are communicated orally during RA training, but there is no written policy detailing the prohibitions. As a result, the initial review found some confusion regarding the prohibitions.

I am confident the UW System committee proposed by UW System President Kevin Reilly will provide valuable guidance to UW-Eau Claire and other UW campuses. Reilly directed the committee, which will include campus-life experts from all campuses, to report its recommendations to him by Jan. 9, 2006. Reilly also directed campuses to enforce policies and practices relating to this area only if complaints are received about specific conduct by RAs.

Going forward, the university will ensure that any future policies and practices regarding prohibitions on RA activities will be stated clearly and consistently.

UW-Eau Claire’s housing and student life programs have long enjoyed a much-deserved reputation for excellence. Our housing staff has always strived to provide an open and welcoming environment for all of our students. We will not lose sight of that goal as we continue our review and make future decisions relating to these important issues.

For additional information:

UW-Eau Claire news release:
UW System news release:

Schools: University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Cases: University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire: Ban on RAs’ Leading Bible Studies