The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Chi Alpha loses recognition from university, proposed bill hopes to fight against similar cases

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Stanislaus Christian Fellowship, also know as Chi Alpha, has recently lost their recognition as an official student organization at California State University, Stanislaus.
Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Tim Lynch, explained why this decision was made.
“All recognized student organizations must comply with California state law and CSU policies, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, natural origin, color, age, gender, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation or disability,” Lynch said. “Stanislaus Christian Fellowship’s constitution, as currently written, permits discrimination on religious and other grounds for both its voting members and those filling leadership positions.”
“The University is not saying the organization engages in discrimination, but the constitution as currently written would allow it, and that would violate Executive Order 1068 and California state law.”
Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) proposed a bill called the Student Freedom of Association Act. The bill was proposed to fight the “Open Membership Policy”, a policy that requires that membership and leadership positions within recognized student organizations be open for all students, even if those students disagree with the purpose or beliefs of the club. (To learn more about the proposed bill, click here.)
The policy lost Stanislaus Christian Fellowship their recognition. Lynch was asked what would happen if this bill came into effect.
“It would be premature to speculate on any proposed legislation,” Lynch said.
Stanislaus Christian Fellowship will still be allowed to engage with the campus.
“Non-recognized student organizations are welcome to meet on campus and engage in student life,” Lynch said. “What they cannot do is avail themselves of the privileges that recognized student organizations do.”
Organizations that are recognized by the university have different privileges versus organizations that are not recognized.
“Recognized student organizations have several privileges on campus, such as the ability to reserve space for activities, use a mailbox in the Office of Student leadership and Development, and gain access to certain accounting services,” Lynch said. “Such privileges are underwritten by student fees and California tax payers; therefore, all recognized student organizations must refrain from discriminatory practices. More than 50 student organizations, including two that are faith-based, are recognized.”
Lynch explained the university is not trying to interfere with Christian Fellowships’s leadership selection.
“Every student organization is free to craft its own policies for the selection of leaders, as long as those policies are non-discriminatory and applied equally,” Lynch said.
The university is also not trying to deny the organization’s freedom of religion rights.
“The university would never discriminate against any group because it is religious in nature,” Lynch said. “However, the University must comply with CSU policy and state law, which prohibit discrimination in recognized student organizations.”

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Chi Alpha loses recognition from university, proposed bill hopes to fight against similar cases