Tags: cross | Sonoma | remove | Jarvis

Catholic College Student Told Cross Is Taboo

Friday, 05 Jul 2013 12:11 PM

By David Alan Coia

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A student is taking legal advice after being told to hide a two-inch cross she was wearing around her neck because other students might find it offensive.

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Audrey Jarvis, a devout Catholic who wears the cross as a symbol of her faith, said her supervisor at a freshman orientation fair told her she should hide the cross under her shirt or remove it, Fox News reported.

Jarvis, said she was completely "shocked" by the June 27 incident at Sonoma State University in California. "I was offended because I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else," she said.

"I was very hurt and felt as if the university's mission statement — which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all — was violated."

Jarvis, who is "seeking a formal 'religious accommodation' to ensure that she is never told to remove her cross again," has retained legal representation through the Liberty Institute.

"It's amazing in this day of diversity and tolerance on university campuses that a university official would engage in this type of obvious religious discrimination," Hiram Sasser, Liberty's director of litigation, told Fox News.

"It's unfortunate there are university officials out there who think that it's OK to tell Christians to hide their faith, but would cringe if somebody said the same thing about hiding someone’s pride in whatever political or cultural affiliation they may have," Sasser said.

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Even the university accepts a mistake was made. Spokeswoman Susan Kashack, who confirmed the incident, said it "angered" university president Ruben Arminana and that the school is trying to contact Jarvis to apologize.

"It was absolutely an inappropriate action for [the supervisor] to make that request of her," Kashack said.

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