Problem: Can Religious Groups on College Campuses Have Faithful Leaders
Public colleges and universities across the U.S. have been misusing nondiscrimination policies to prohibit student clubs from choosing their leaders based on shared faith in the very religious beliefs the group is formed to foster. A few have even required that official membership and leadership in student-run clubs be open to every student on campus, regardless of their beliefs—so-called “all-comers” policies.
No student should be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, or other irrelevant reasons. But these policies should not be misused to prevent religious student groups from being religious. This is what happens when schools do not allow these groups to choose leaders who share the very religious convictions essential to the group’s purpose and who live out those beliefs. The First Amendment protects everyone’s right to associate around and advocate for shared political, social, or religious views and religious students should have that same right.