December 15, 2011
Yet Another College Investigates InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (Edited)
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's activities have been suspended at the University at Buffalo in New York until further notice. The school's senate has also formed an investigative committee to determine the legality of the InterVarsity's club’s constitution.
The university's Student Association issued the suspension after campus newspaper The Spectrum reported that the InterVarsity chapter’s treasurer Steven Jackson was pressured to resign from his leadership role because his sexual orientation. InterVarsity explained Jackson resigned because he no longer agreed with the statement of faith InterVarsity requires its student leaders to sign. It affirms several basic Christian beliefs, including the authority of the Bible.
The suspension means InterVarsity cannot host scheduled events or access funds provided by the student association. Jackson, who is still an InterVarsity member, asked the senate to reconsider its decision in a written statement. Though he verified The Spectrum’s report, he did not blame InterVarsity for its leadership requirement.
"If [the requirement] is illegal, I do not blame InterVarsity. I blame the Student Association for failing to properly review club constitutions and inform clubs of their legality,” he said. The senate upheld its decision.
InterVarsity's University at Buffalo chapter is the latest Christian student group to be charged with discrimination because of its faith-based leadership requirements. Last year, Christian Legal Society lost a similar high-profile case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In December, CT reported how similar allegations are handled by Christian groups at private universities vs. public schools.