USA (MNN) — Intervarsity Christian Fellowship has regained recognition at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. They have come to an agreement that fully restores their rights as an official university organization. There are 50 members in that chapter.
In February of 2006, all rights as a university organization were stripped from the UW-S chapter after four decades on the campus. The university claimed that InterVarsity's requirement of leaders to affirm its Basis of Faith statement was against university policy. InterVarsity maintained its stance that a religious organization should be allowed to require at least some religious standards for its leaders. If they didn't, the identity of the group would be changed altogether. A lawsuit was filed by Intervarsity in October 2006.
The recent settlement will allow InterVarsity all the benefits of recognition which include using university facilities and title and applying for student-segregated funds. "This is a positive step toward the goals we seek, which is equal treatment of all student organizations, including those that are religious," said Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.
Similar cases in past settlements have also stated that a university cannot fund student organizations that agree with the university and choose not to fund those that do not.
All University of Wisconsin chapters will be able to use the constitution that was worded during the agreement. The constitution also may be used on other campuses that have been questioned on the discrimination issue by school officials.
Since the constitution was formed by the UW and approved by U.S. District Judge John Shabaz, it can be used as a model for other Christian groups in similar situations.