Tags: Religion | InterVarsity | California State University | christian group | students | school

Evangelical Group Regains Access to Cal State Campuses

By    |   Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:06 PM

An evangelical Christian student group booted off California State University's campuses last September is back in good standing at the nation's largest public university system.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship announced its 23 chapters on 19 of the California State University campuses "will once again be recognized student groups," after being denied recognition for the 2014-15 academic year because of its rule that student leaders must be Christians.

"InterVarsity's Christian faith compels us to welcome all people," InterVarsity president Jim Lundgren said in a statement. "We support CSU in its commitment to serve the diversity of students on its campuses. … At the same time, we maintain our commitment to provide campus communities that are clearly Christian, where all students can experience and learn more about Christian community, theology, and practice."

"We are confident we can choose leaders who are qualified to lead InterVarsity's witnessing communities throughout the Cal State system," he added.

InterVarsity says it "continues to face challenges" getting recognition at other schools in California, as well as New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Maine, Iowa, and Florida.

A 2010 Supreme Court decision upheld a policy that all student groups have to open all leadership positions to all students, regardless of whether the students agree with the group's statement of faith.

But Lundgren took a shot at the so-called all-comers policy in his statement.

"While we are grateful to have resolved the issue with CSU, InterVarsity continues to believe that all-comers policies will result in the exclusion, rather than inclusion, of diverse students from campus," Lundgren said.

According to Christianity Today, Grinnell College in Iowa has banned InterVarsity since 1997 because it won't select a gay leader. But it has won its fight for recognition at other campuses that objected to the Christians-only leadership rule, including Tufts University and the University of North Carolina.

Being denied recognition as a student group means losing access to on-campus meeting rooms, student fairs and other official school functions; the cost of covering the losses at CSU was an estimated $20,000 per chapter, InterVarsity estimated, the Huffington Post reports.

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An evangelical Christian student group booted off California State University's campuses last September is back in good standing at the nation's largest public university system.
InterVarsity, California State University, christian group, students, school
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2015-06-19
Friday, 19 Jun 2015 09:06 PM
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