The college campus is a forum for ideas. Just about any topic is open for debate on the modern college campus except, sometimes, religion.
InterVarsity occasionally is put in the difficult position of fighting for the right to be on campus. In 2002 InterVarsity was forced to file suit against Rutgers University in order to maintain its chapter on the Rutgers campus. Fortunately an agreement was reached that made the suit unnecessary.
In 2006, InterVarsity is facing more challenges. Earlier this year the University of Wisconsin Superior chapter was notified that it no longer qualified as a recognized student organization. That dispute is still unresolved.
Last month Georgetown University in Washington D.C. included InterVarsity in a list of six Protestant evangelical organizations which were disaffiliated. The rationale for the action seemed unclear and arbitrary.
InterVarsity students have protested and circulated a petition asking for reconsideration of the decision. Georgetown officials have announced that an advisory committee will be formed to review Georgetown’s ministry to Protestant students. But ministry on campus this year will be severely limited without a reversal of the decision.
Since Georgetown is a private school, it is within its legal rights to make this kind of decision. However we do believe that the decision seems contradictory to Georgetown’s Mission Statement, which says “The university was founded on the principle that serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths… and beliefs promotes intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding.”
For news coverage of the University of Wisconsin situation, and the Georgetown situation, check the links at InterVarsity in the News on our Press Page. Please join InterVarsity in praying for the freedom to share our faith on college campuses.