“As more and more campuses enforce discriminatory ‘nondiscrimination policies’, campus faith communities like Chi Alpha are forced to make an unjust choice: either compromise our mission, values, and identity or lose the ability to meaningfully engage in campus life. This Supreme Court case will have lasting repercussions on students’ Constitutional rights. Generations of university students will be impacted.”
Joe Gavin- Chi Alpha Vermont
Chi Alpha National Ministries has been a force for the Gospel on universities throughout the United States and around the world since 1953. Its members are college-age men and women earnestly following Jesus. The name “Chi Alpha” is inspired by II Corinthians 5:20. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” Inspired by this verse, the ministry chose the designation “christou apostoloi,” meaning “Christ’s sent ones,” to represent its membership. The Greek letters Chi (X) and Alpha (A) are the initials of this phrase which should remind us that we should live to accomplish the commission Jesus gave us.
Chi Alpha campus leaders aspire to embody the mission of the organization. Because of their uncompromising faith, they have dealt with the non-discrimination statement issue on campuses across America over and over again. Most recently at the University of Vermont.
The Vermont Chi Alpha chapter was denied recognition by the Student Government Association (SGA) for the second time last year. The student chairperson denied Chi Alpha recognition because its constitution requires student leaders to be Christians and live according to Biblical ethics. The committee decided that the group was therefore “discriminating” on the basis of religion, a violation of the school’s nondiscrimination policy.
Failure to obtain official recognition constitutes a heavy penalty for this student campus group. Without recognition, the student members are unable to reserve space on campus for their weekly worship gatherings, information tables, or outreach events. They are also denied access to the student activities funds they themselves contribute to each semester.
While Chi Alpha Vermont continues to work toward recognition, it has its eye on the Court.
If your Christian campus group has faced this kind of injustice on campus, tell us about it.