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Friday, May 24
The Indiana Daily Student

IUSA passes four resolutions at Tuesday's meeting

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The IU Student Association passed four resolutions at its meeting Tuesday, including ones creating a University honor code and amending requirements for student organizations.

The University is proposing changes to requirements for student organizations that would make organizations choose their leadership regardless of candidates’ beliefs, such as religion and politics.

There has always been a requirement that organizations cannot discriminate against its 
members.

However, the new requirements state student organizations cannot choose leaders based on beliefs. For example, a Christian organization cannot choose a leader just because he or she is a Christian, even though religion is an integral part of the organization’s identity.

The Student Relations Committee said this can deny organizations the ability to maintain the purpose and direction of most of its members.

If a leader of an organization doesn’t share the same beliefs as the majority of its members, it could cause unfair treatment toward those in the organization, the resolution said.

“This places an undue burden on organizations that are either political or religious,” said Courtney Sporleder, co-sponsor of the bill. “Leaders in this organization uphold the integrity of it.”

The new policy the University is proposing would add the phrase “and seek leadership” to the 
current rule.

In talks with the University, David Phillips, president of the religious organization Cru, said this has come to not only mean accepting and reviewing applications, but also not using personal beliefs when considering potential 
applicants.

Phillips said Cru, and most other organizations on campus, have no problem with the policy in place now, without the line “seek 
leadership.”

“Even if it weren’t a requirement from the University, we would make sure that our organization is open to anyone,” Phillips said.

But having this sense of openness can be problematic when choosing leaders. Cru, like many other organizations, is chartered by a national organization that has certain beliefs.

“The proposed policy would not allow us to use those ideals to select our leaders,” Phillips said.

The resolution opposes the University’s policies. It’s a way for IUSA to share its opinions on this topic so students can see where it stands, Sporleder said.

“Because this affects students directly, they can see our voice and our opinions,” Sporleder said.

There was debate among Congress regarding this resolution.

Some members of Congress argued that an organizations should focus on a person’s leadership quality, and not their 
personal views.

Others said this could raise questions that could potentially infringe upon people’s freedoms.

However, Sporleder said the goal of this bill is to increase diversity on campus. The head of each organization should represent the diversity that is already on campus.

Sporleder said this bill specifically harms religious and political organizations because personal beliefs are at the center of the way these types of organizations function.

“If we can’t continue to operate on belief system, then we wouldn’t be able to have our place on campus,” Sporleder said.

Congress also passed a bill requesting the University establish an honor code for all students. Students would sign a written pledge stating they will respect all groups on campus and that they understand the consequences of failing to do so.

This resolution was created in response to recent race-related tension on college campuses across the country, such as those at the University of Missouri last fall.

Although this code wouldn’t change the way students are punished, it will be another reminder for students that they should adhere to the University’s standards.

“The thought behind this is that we fully outline and make students aware that this is not just a one-liner in the code of conduct,” said Naomi Kellogg, co-sponsor of the bill.

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