Campus ministry InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is pushing for a court to weigh in on its dispute with Wayne State University, even though administrators reinstated the group’s official status in March. The school kicked InterVarsity off campus over its refusal to abandon faith-based requirements for leaders. Two days after InterVarsity filed suit (after trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issue privately) the school reversed course and agreed the group could require leaders to actually be Christians.
But its relenting didn’t include changing the so-called nondiscrimination policy, which requires recognized groups to accept all students into membership and leadership roles, regardless of whether they support the group’s message. Wayne State effectively gave InterVarsity an exemption but failed to acknowledge the policy violates constitutional religious liberty protections.
Represented by religious liberty law firm Becket, InterVarsity is fighting the school’s attempt to dismiss the case, which would allow it to keep the policy intact—and kick Christian student groups off campus in the future.
“Wayne State allows 90 student groups to make their own rules for leaders—everyone from fraternities to the Quidditch Club,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel with Becket. “But Wayne State can’t wave a magic wand and make the Constitution disappear. Christian student groups have the same rights as everyone else.” —L.J.