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 Religious Liberty Defended on College Campus

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Lora
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PostSubject: Religious Liberty Defended on College Campus   Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:38 pm

Religious Liberty Defended on College Campus

By

CeCe Heil

We recently helped a student at a public university in Ohio, to
obtain a religious exemption from her university’s requirement to live
on campus. As a result, she will be able to live off campus in a
faith-based household with other students who share her religious
values.

Although the university requires two years of residency in University
Housing, it offers exemptions or releases from this requirement for
numerous secular reasons. The student requested a personal hardship
release based upon her sincerely held religious beliefs, stating that
the lifestyle on campus was not conducive to living according to
biblical principles.

The student’s request also explained that she had been accepted into a
program that would allow her to live in a faith-based household with
other students that hold similar religious principles. Her request was
denied, however, because it did not fit within the stated criteria for
an exemption or release.

We wrote a letter to the university’s housing appeal board in support
of the student’s appeal of this decision that explained that, since the
University provides exemptions and releases for numerous secular
reasons, and also has an individualized process for reviewing
non-religious personal hardship requests, its denial of the student’s
request violated her freedom of religion protected by the First
Amendment. Our letter also stated that it would directly contradict the
University’s mission of providing a welcoming environment for all
students to force students to choose to either violate the deeply held
convictions of their religious faiths in order to attend the University
or forgo attendance there in favor of a university willing to
accommodate their faith.

The housing appeal board ruled in the student’s favor and granted her
request to live in the off-campus faith-based household. We are glad we
could assist and will continue to defend the rights of students at
public university campuses across the country.


Tags »
student, University, religious, faith, campus, housing

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