The Ohio State University: Refusal to Allow Religious Clubs to Decide Membership Based on Religious Belief
A coalition of religious groups, including the Muslim Student Association, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Christian Graduate Student Alliance, Campus Crusade for Christ, Mosaic, Reformed Christian Students, the Christian Medical Dental Association, Student Christian Fellowship, and International Friendships, used religious criteria for decisions regarding group leadership, group message, and, sometimes, group membership at the Ohio State University. Ohio State's official recognition policy had stated that in order for groups to receive full recognition from the university, they could not "discriminate" on the basis of religion. FIRE wrote to Ohio State President Karen A. Holbrook, pointing out that as a public institution, "Ohio State cannot constitutionally control a religious student organization's message or composition." In response to pressure from FIRE, and a pending lawsuit filed by the Christian Legal Society, Ohio State agreed to change the "nondiscrimination" policy.
- "Victory for Religious Freedom at Ohio State," October 4, 2004: The Ohio State University is changing a "nondiscrimination" policy that prohibited religious student organizations from making critical decisions based on religious criteria. The decision came after FIRE wrote to Ohio State on behalf of a broad interfaith coalition of Muslim and Christian student organizations. FIRE’s effort coincided with that of the Christian Legal Society, which had already filed a lawsuit asserting the same claims against Ohio State.
- "Letter from the Office for Civil Rights to Ohio State University, September 13, 2004," September 13, 2004
- "FIRE Letter to Ohio State University President Karen A. Holbrook, August 20, 2004," August 20, 2004
- "Campus Left to Christians, Conservatives: Shut Up!,"
by Mark Tapscott, Townhall.com, December 24, 2005