John Carroll University’s Student Union recently approved a new student organization called the John Carroll Secular Students Alliance. This organization seeks to recognize students with nontheistic backgrounds and currently has about 30 members.
Several students have expressed disapproval of this group, including concerns about the group infringing upon the values of other Catholic students. However, John Carroll’s mission statement promotes “the acceptance and participation of people of all faith.” Thus, this group should have no opposition to its creation, even from those with different beliefs.
The University claims zero tolerance for bias and has a system in place to deter bias incidents from occurring. Religious views should be equally protected from discrimination along with race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. This organization is a way for students to express their views and spirituality in a safe environment.
There is no reason that this group should not be afforded the same respect and credibility that other groups on campus experience. The most important thing is to continue fostering mutual respect for students of all beliefs and faiths.