ASUU funding of religious groups.

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

&In response to the recent article and editorial in The Daily Utah Chronicle, concerning the controversy about ASUU Bylaws, Article IV, Section 3, and ASUU funding of religious groups on campus. I would like to clarify a couple of issues.

Article IV, Section 3 of the The Bylaws of the Associated Student of the University of Utah, read: “Article I, Section 4 of the Utah State Constitution provides that “The State shall make now law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”. Similar provisions exist in the United States Constitution. Therefore, ASUU will not fund religious activities.”

Originally, some ASUU representatives voted to only strike portions of the section. Then, someASUU representatives voted to reinstate the whole section as it was (because it had been that way before). The ASUU Senate, as the Chronicle put it, have been the voice of reason, and twice have voted unanimously to completely strike this controversial section from the ASUU Bylaws.

Despite assertions by some ASUU representatives and The Daily Utah Chronicle. We, as members and representatives of ASUU, must comply with state and federal law. The Constitution of the Associated Students of the University of Utah in Article II, Section 5, states: “In the event of a conflict between this Constitution and the Bylaws of ASUU or any other document or regulation, the provisions of this Constitution shall be controlling, subject to state or federal law.”

In addition, The Bylaws of the Associated Student of the University of Utah, in Article IV, Section 5, states: “ASUU may not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation, veteran status, or marital status.”

It is my belief that most of your ASUU representatives have been chosing to fund students, not specific activities, groups, or titles of groups, and thus, have been in compliance with the spirit of these two provisions. It is my hope that they will continue to choose funding students, not titles.

This week, the ASUU Assembly has chosen to join the ASUU Senate, and have finally agreed tocompletely strike this controversial section from the ASUU Bylaws. But, there still are someASUU representatives who wish to define and limit funding for religious groups and activities on campus, and at this time, are attempting to write laws to that effect. If you have an opinion about this issue, then please, get involved, and let your current ASUU representatives and the current candidates running for ASUU office, know your opinion on this important issue.

Dirk SpruntEducation, SeniorVice-Chair, ASUU Senate