January 26, 2012
CLS: We're Not Leaving Vanderbilt Yet
Controversy continues, but media reports have jumped the gun, lawyer says.
Though Christian Legal Society is still facing pressure from Vanderbilt University to comply with its nondiscrimination policy, the group isn’t leaving campus yet, said Kim Colby, senior counsel at CLS’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom.
CT reported in December that CLS and three other Christian groups were told they were in noncompliance with Vanderbilt’s discrimination policies, thus removing privileges given to registered student groups. All four groups require leaders to sign statements affirming Christian doctrines.
At least one Christian website had reported that despite revising its constitution to fit with Vanderbilt’s policy, CLS was still going to be “forced” off campus. However, some of the information in the article was misconstrued, Colby said. The resubmitted constitution had not been revised to fit with Vanderbilt’s policy; rather, it was an updated version of an outdated constitution, she said.
Carol Swain, professor of political science and law and advisor to Vanderbilt’s chapter of CLS, has said the group will leave campus at the end of the semester rather than change its constitution. But so far, neither the student groups nor the administration have changed their positions throughout the discussion progress, and no final decisions have been made, Colby said.
Last week, Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos sent out an email to the campus, stating the administration will hold a town hall meeting on January 31 to explain the university’s stance on the policy.