The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday November 26th

Ideal to be upheld

A potential injunction to reinstate Alpha Iota Omega's status as an official campus group until its lawsuit is decided should be rejected.

An injunction request in federal court by the Alliance Defense Fund that would temporarily reinstate Alpha Iota Omega Christian fraternity as an official student organization at UNC is a ridiculous affront to the spirit of free discourse that should take place in a university setting.

The fraternity, whether or not members realized the implications of their actions, gave up recognition as an official student organization when it refused to sign a nondiscrimination clause required of all student groups. The fraternity lost access to facilities and the ability to apply for funds taken from student fees.

By signing the clause, AIO would have been compelled to accept non-Christians as members, which it said would run counter to its evangelical mission.

But the rules for student groups at UNC are flexible enough for AIO to pursue its mission without having to discriminate. The fraternity was wrong in its decision not to sign the agreement, and ADF is wrong to seek this injunction that would reinstate the fraternity's status during the court proceedings.

Fraternity members don't need outside intervention to accomplish any of their goals. Nothing is barring the three members of the fraternity from meeting informally. They could easily do so in one of the many open spaces on campus.

There's no damage being done while the courts consider their case that would warrant allowing AIO to bypass the principles of equality and diversity that UNC promotes.

No one at the University is stopping them from accomplishing their evangelical mission. They are free to evangelize as long as they do not exceed the bounds of a civil discourse. There are no rules in place that prohibit their outreach abilities.

They are even free to discriminate in the selection of their leaders. UNC's administration allowed for this following a dispute between the University and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

This leadership exception prevents people of a different ideology or background from being able to change the direction or purpose of any organization. But AIO's mission isn't being threatened.

An organization that accepts members of only one religion does not deserve the official recognition of a public university.

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