A group of college students from a Wayne State University is no longer recognized by the institution because the group requires its members to be Christians. A report from Fox News says the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship filed a federal lawsuit after the college decided the group violated a non-discrimination policy.
The Detroit Free Press reports the group still holds meetings on campus, but is required to pay $100 each time it meets because of its decertification.
A spokesperson for the 500-member group says anyone may join, but to be a leader in the Christian group, one must be a Christian. This is the requirement the school claims is discrimination.
A spokesperson for Wayne State University issued the following statement:
Wayne State University took action to decertify the student organization InterVarsity because it is in violation of the university’s non-discrimination policy, which is consistent with the United States Constitution. Every student organization that applies for organizational status must agree to this policy before being certified. Leaders of this group read and agreed to the policy during the application process.
The university is obliged and committed to protecting the constitutional and religious rights of everyone on our campus. Attaining official student organization status is a privilege rather than a right, and is conditional on compliance with our policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.
We have taken every step possible to minimize the impact of the decertification on the group, and we approached InterVarsity last December with an offer to work on a resolution to this matter. Our offer still stands. Any such solution will be guided by our desire to reinstate the group’s organization status while adhering to our nondiscrimination policy.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has over 1,000 chapters across the US. The lawsuit was filed April 6.