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University of Wisconsin Suspends Ban on Resident Assistants s Running Bible Study Groups in Their Dorm Rooms:

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education posts an e-mail from the University's Interim Chancellor:

Effective immediately, UW-Eau Claire is suspending practices and policies prohibiting resident assistants from organizing, leading or recruiting for certain activities in the rooms and residence halls where they live.

I concluded the suspension is necessary after an initial campus review found that there have been inconsistencies in how the practice has been communicated to resident assistants and because UW System has announced that it will appoint a system-wide advisory committee that will provide guidance about RA activities.

The policies and practices in question prohibit RAs from organizing, leading and recruiting for certain activities in rooms and residence halls where they live and have supervisory authority over other students. Those include partisan politics and religious activities. . . .

Very glad to hear it, and hope the suspension becomes permanent. FIRE deserves credit for its work in this matter, and many others; for more details on the incident, see here.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. University of Wisconsin Suspends Ban on Resident Assistants s Running Bible Study Groups in Their Dorm Rooms:
  2. Another Government Attempt to Suppress Religious Speech:
Bob Bobstein (mail):
First, they came for Resident Assistants giving Bible studies in their dorm rooms. And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Resident Assistant giving Bible studies in my dorm room.

Then, they came for Christmas. And I didn't speak up because I don't like shopping.

Then they came for me...

Thanks for putting a stop to this incipient attack, and making America once again safe for Christianity.
12.1.2005 2:01pm
Splunge (mail):
On the other hand...

[knock knock]

(muffled): Yes? Who is it?

(stern): Why is this door locked, Mr. Blutarsky?

(panicked): Er...ah...bible study, sir. I was conducting a bible study, and I wanted to be very, very careful no one might be improperly influenced by overhearing the religious discussion I was having with Misses Vavoom and Deecup.

(mollified): Ah! Yes. And very proper of you, too. We would not want college to be the occasion for impressionable young people to be led astray by their elders ---

[smacks forehead]

(accusatory): -- wait a minute! The Chancellor suspended that policy! Open up!

(despairing): Damn.
12.1.2005 2:41pm
Cornellian (mail):
If it were just the students themselves I don't think many people would object, but I see the words "supervisory authority" and my anti-authority instincts are on immediate alert. I don't want someone with supervisory authority "inviting" me to a Bible study (especially if it's not a King James Bible) anymore than I want them "inviting" me to a MoveOn rally.
12.1.2005 4:15pm
jkj (mail):
Cornellian,

This will just give the students the opportunity to practice refusing to be pressured by the "supervising authority." You can't really be your own person if the governing authorities don't give you the opportunity to stand up for yourself now and then.
12.1.2005 7:09pm
Wintermute (www):
My proctor invited us in for a beer and Bob Dylan. I'd be creeped out by a guy who could bust me for State U. dorm infractions trying to proselytize me. They got churches for that.
12.1.2005 7:30pm
DavidL (mail) (www):
Winter:

I'm having a hard time parsing your comment. Are you saying they have churches that can bust you for dorm infractions? Or for inviting you in for a beer and Bob Dylan?
12.1.2005 10:22pm
DavidL (mail) (www):
On a more serious note, it should be pointed out that there's a difference between an RA holding a Bible Study in his room and an RA proselytizing students under his "authority."
12.1.2005 10:28pm
jacob noel (mail):
Very well said. I totally agree with you. This thing should be noticed for sure.
12.2.2005 7:31am
corngrower:
cornellian;

You can protest if you wish. The issue is can RA's lead study groups? Like, on the gay community, or, maybe African American studies? Maybe left handed Greeks want a study group. Can RA's lead a group like that? Or??? is it just Christians you object to?

Course you got that whole thing about a Prof tying to supress the free speech of a Freshman student that made the mortal sin of inviting a veteren to speek on campus.Someone with supervisory authority? Gee I wounder?
12.2.2005 12:10pm