Victory for religious student group at University of Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Last week the University of Missouri agreed to recognize a Christian fraternity, Beta Upsilon Chi, as a registered student organization. The university recently threatened to revoke the fraternity’s official status, claiming the group’s requirements that officials and members profess the Christian faith is “religious discrimination.”
“Universities should respect the free speech rights of Christian fraternity members, just as they do for all other fraternity members,” said Timothy J. Tracey, litigation counsel for the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom. “Ironically, the Greek system was originally established to promote Christian virtues such as charity and service, and so the threatened exclusion of a faith-based fraternity at the University of Missouri makes no sense. Religious student groups like Beta Upsilon Chi contribute to the health and diversity of campus life and should be encouraged, not discouraged.”
Beta Upsilon Chi is a fraternity of Christian male college students who wish to foster fellowship through their common belief in Jesus Christ. Without official recognition, the Christian fraternity would miss important benefits provided to other student groups, such as access to meeting space and ability to advertise on campus.
Upon recent communication with CLS attorneys, university officials agreed not to require the group to establish a religious non-discrimination policy. The university officials have now agreed to continue recognizing Beta Upsilon Chi as a registered student organization with all the associated benefits.
Together, ADF, America’s largest legal alliance, and CLS, America’s premier network of Christian legal professionals, defend religious liberty, human life, marriage, and the family.