InterVarsity Tactics Vary Widely in Countering Opposition
InterVarsity defenses vary from compromise to lawsuit depending on the campus
As Weblog has noted several times earlier, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is facing opposition on several college campuses. At some, the issue has been over sexual ethics guidelines. But more recently, the battles seem to be over whether the Christian group must allow non-Christian leaders.
The incidents have primarily played out as local stories, but the constellation of several simultaneous disputes has aroused the attention of the national media. The latest report is from Associated Press religion writer Dick Ostling.
David French, InterVarsity's lawyer (who is associated with the Alliance Defense Fund), tells the AP that the organization "seeks to settle such disputes privately and that "it almost always wins, defending its policies on the basis of religious freedom."
But it didn't win at Rutgers University, so the chapter filed suit—the first time any InterVarsity group has done so to seek access at a school.
Both InterVarsity and Rutgers have now posted defenses of their actions. The InterVarsity statement defends the lawsuit, suggesting (but not saying outright) that all other avenues were exhausted.
"InterVarsity student leaders and local staff discussed the issue with the Student Affairs Office and the Dean's Office of Rutgers University," says the statement, signed by IVCF director of public relations Phil Evans.
The local chapter moved its meetings off campus while the issue remains unresolved and has sought amicable relations with school officials. InterVarsity's legal counsel sent letters to the university outlining the First Amendment rights of the student group and offered instances where other universities have maintained the balance ...