By Aimee Villalpando |Staff Writer|
Christian groups at some CSU campuses believe they are being stripped of recognition due to their refusal to sign a new policy that requires clubs and organizations to allow any student to become a member or leader.
The all-comers policy resulted from a 2010 U.S. Supreme court ruling that upheld the right of a law school in California to deny recognition to a Christian student group that excluded homosexuals.
Groups that refused to comply with the new policy, such as InterVarsity, can still meet on campus but are no longer funded by campus associations or allowed to participate in student fairs.
The InterVarsity chapter at California State University, Northridge claims membership is open to everyone, but that Scripture requires leaders to affirm the faith.
Gregory L. Jao, a national field director for the Northridge ministry, suggests the Cal State system is discriminating against religious groups.
“These groups aren’t just claiming a right to discriminate when selecting leaders, they’re insisting on a right to do so with government money and support,” said Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bilal Zaheen, president of the Muslim Student Association at Cal State University, Long Beach (CSULB), said he was happy to accept anyone willing to learn about the religion.
CSUSB senior and Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc. chapter president Maria Villalpando shares that mindset.
“Although our organization is Latin-based we open up membership and all positions to anybody who lives up to the ideals that our organization stands for,” said Villalpando.