Religious fraternity fights campus ban

Courtesy: CNN

(CNN) – Another fraternity finds itself at odds with the school, but this time, there’s no scandal with alcohol or sex, the issue is religion.  A Christian fraternity in California has lost its recognition, due to leadership rules.

“They have a long history there, they are a faith based organization that do a lot of great stuff not only for the college community but for the Turlock community at large,” said councilman Matthew Jacob.

But the CSUS Chi alpha chapter, known as the Stanislaus Christian fellowship, are now no longer recognized by the university.

“What they cannot be is faith based where someone has to have a profession of faith to be that leader,” said CSUS associate vice president Tim Lynch.

CSUS associate vice president Tim Lynch says the group’s constitution does not follow a California state university system wide executive order, by prohibiting non Christians to seek a leadership role within the organization.

“Every club is allowed to establish its own standards for how leaders are selected. As long as it’s non discriminatory and then they are voted on by the members.  Fraternities and sororities must comply with all the requirements there of but there is a gender exemption,” Lynch continued.

However city councilman Matthew Jacob feels chi alpha is being unfairly targeted, “It’s nothing less than religious discrimination.”

He recently sent this letter to the university chancellor saying their executive order is not enforced fairly, “It goes against the very purpose of the organization to begin with. To have somebody that doesn’t even uphold that faith system to be teaching and mentoring other students in that capacity.”

Meanwhile Lynch says two other faith based groups on campus have complied with the executive order with no issues.

However Jacob worries this could have more widespread implications, “Other clubs have given in so you might as well. You know, I think that when you start making statements like that, it’s just a slippery slope.”

The Chi Alpha chapter at San Diego state has also lost its recognition for the exact same reason.  There’s a chance the chapter may take legal action.

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