Christian Student Organization to be Recognized at California State University After Year-Long Dispute

Chi Alpa Logo

A Christian student organization has been reinstated to the California State University system after being banned as an official student group in 2014.

Chi Alpha, a Christian organization, was reinstated at Cal State Stanilaus, Cal State Sacramento, San Diego state, and Cal State Fresno, after months of negotiations regarding standards for club leadership.

In September 2014, Cal State Stanislaus de-recognized Chi Alpha as an official student group when Chi Alpha expressed objections to the new discrimination policy, arguing that it forced them to violate their religious beliefs by being required to accept all students as leaders, regardless of their beliefs. As a result, the school removed certain benefits reserved exclusively to recognized student groups from Chi Alpha.

To be reinstated, the student organization was required to include a non-discrimination clause that states, "Eligibility for membership or appointed or elected student officer positions may not be limited on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability."

However, after months of negotiations, the Cal State's Chancellor's office agreed to allow the student members of the organization to "select leaders whose lives and beliefs reflected their group's message," according to a press release given by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. As of Thursday, four Chi Alpha chapters have been recognized after these compromises were made.

"Unfortunately, CSU continues to ban religious leadership requirements and to treat religious student groups with less respect than fraternities and sororities," the statement read. "But because CSU has agreed that Chi Alpha's students may exercise their own judgment to choose leaders that share their beliefs, we are now able to have access to campus with integrity."