Letter: Applaud the Interfaith Council for encouraging non-discrimination

We would like to thank the Interfaith Council for hosting the forum, “Non-Discrimination: What does it mean?” Feb. 22 in the Memorial Union.

The forum was held in part as a response to the Supreme Court case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. This case called into question the “Statement of Faith” practice to deny membership and/or leadership positions of religious student organizations. This practice excluded gay and lesbian students from participating in the student organizations.

It was exciting to us to see a faith-based student organization inviting the campus to take a critical look at Iowa State’s student organization campus policies and how they might be affected by this court decision.

The intent of the forum was to critically examine what we mean by non-discrimination, particularly related to policies. Our discussions across many tables ranged from how ISU policies may affect openness to differing ideas, student learning, personal growth and inclusiveness versus exclusiveness here at Iowa State.

We applaud the Interfaith Council in their dedication to provide a venue to increase understanding and share different perspectives in a peaceful and respectful manner. In light of this experience, we encourage a continued dialogue regarding “Non-Discrimination: What does it mean?” to Iowa State. In order to achieve inclusivity and community we encourage the creation of an environment where our religious student organizations are open to all and provide all the opportunity to achieve their potential.