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Sunday, April 21, 2013
Students on our publicly funded campuses, if they’re like me, have a lot to worry about. Class schedules, exams, papers, the future of the job market, student loans and roommate issues are among the biggest concerns. Having a place to go on campus where we can unite together with like-minded friends and fellow students can be a lifesaver and provide needed community and support as well as escape from the zaniness of college life.
The only thing that legislation passed by this year’s General Assembly and signed into law by the governor does is ensure that student groups can continue to do what they’ve always done — provide that needed support.
Opponents to the bill seem to misunderstand the intent. The law doesn’t really change anything. It simply ensures that our freedom to associate is protected. The student group I participate in welcomes anyone to our meetings and invites students in our community who want to know more about our faith or who simply need safe fellowship to share their faith. No one is turned away. That’s how it’s always been and how it will remain.
The new law simply allows us to set standards for membership and leadership that fit the mission of the group. There’s nothing nefarious about that, and the law includes protections against discrimination based on both state and federal law.
It is unfortunate that such a law was even necessary. But with some colleges denying a student group the ability to self-determine its leadership, thereby denying the basic right of free association, it was. Now, we as students can get back to worrying about grades and term papers and not about whether we’ll continue to have the safe haven of our student groups to help us navigate college life.
Weather Journal7 wintry scenarios for Sunday