FW: FIRE sets up new center
volokh at MAIL.LAW.UCLA.EDU
Thu Aug 23 00:22:37 PDT 2001
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Religious-Freedom Center Set Up to Focus on Discrimination on
By ELIZABETH F. FARRELL
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has
quickly built a reputation for defending students and
professors who feel they've been wronged by their colleges, is
establishing a new center that focuses on charges of religious
discrimination on campuses.
Officials at the nonprofit foundation in Philadelphia, which
was established 20 months ago and has represented faculty
members and students on a range of free-speech and other
issues, said the Center for Religious Freedom on Campus will
work to ensure that students and professors have an
independent resource to turn to when they feel their
universities are discriminating against their religious
practices or organizations. . . .
Among the cases that FIRE has taken on already was a defense
of the Tufts Christian Fellowship, which was denied campus
financial support after it refused to appoint one of its
members to a leadership position because she did not believe
that homosexuality was a sin. (See an article from The
Chronicle, November 3, 2000.)
FIRE officials say the new center will amount to a "rapid
response network" consisting of a hot line for students and
professors to register their complaints and a growing network
of lawyers who can advise students and professors on the best
way to approach their administration with their concerns. . . .
FIRE has also hired an additional staff member, Laura Kulp, to
serve as director of the center. Ms. Kulp said the center's
first major project this year will be to publish and widely
distribute a guide that informs students and professors of
their rights at both public and private universities.
The guide will explain constitutional principles such as the
establishment clause of the First Amendment and how they
pertain to religious rights at universities.
Mr. Halvorssen attributed what FIRE sees as a hostility to
religion on campuses to thephilosophy of the many college
administrators who came of age in the 1960s. . . .
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