Jeff Emanuel

Political correctness has long been running amok on the campuses of America's institutes of higher education. From the severe limiting of free speech to mandatory “nondiscrimination” policies which greatly limit freedom of association, basic rights and privileges have been increasingly denied to some students as a direct result of their (legal) refusal to compromise their principles and to embrace the multiculturalism and political correctness being forced down their throats.

A specific example of this – and of its fortunate conclusion, due to the decision of the students in question to take stand up for themselves, even though it meant legal action – recently took place at the University of Georgia.

This November, a Christian fraternity at the University of Georgia, Beta Upsilon Chi (BYX, which stands for “Brothers Under Christ”), was prevented from completing its required annual re-registration for student organization status – a necessary action to remain officially associated with UGA, and thus to remain eligible to use University facilities, to apply for funds, and to receive other such privileges – and was summarily removed from the roster of official student groups, as a result of its requirement that members and officers “affirm [their] personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The reason for this action was that their requirement of Christian faith violated a new nondiscrimination policy enacted by the Board of Regents statewide, and by the University locally, which requires that student organizations include in their constitution, and adhere to, the statement that “Membership shall not be denied to any person because of age, race, sex, religion, handicap, sexual orientation, or national origin.”

The fraternity’s president attempted to correct this situation by explaining to Georgia’s Assistant Director of Student Activities that, as a registered 501(c)(7) organization, BYX was exempt from the requirement not to discriminate on the basis of religion and gender.

When the University employee responded that the nondiscrimination policy requirement was still valid because student organizations fell under the jurisdiction of the educational code, rather than the tax code. However, in reality – as the BYX president attempted to point out – under the applicable portions of both the education and tax codes, the fraternity’s requirements are not “invidious discrimination,” but rather “federally recognized associational classifications.”

Jeff Emanuel

Jeff Emanuel, a Special Operations military veteran, is a Leadership fellow with the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia, where he also studies Classics. In addition, he is a contributing editor for conservative web log, and is a columnist for the Athens, GA Banner-Herald newspaper.

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