The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Letter to the Editor: ASUU intends to fund religious groups


I write in response to the Feb. 25 article (“ASUU legislators discuss funding groups”) and editorial (“Religious groups should be funded by ASUU”) in The Daily Utah Chronicle.

I would like to clarify a couple of issues.

Article IV, Section 3 of The Bylaws of the Associated Students of the University of Utah reads: “Article I, Section 4 of the Utah State Constitution provides that ‘The State shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’ Similar provisions exist in the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, ASUU will not fund religious activities.”

Originally, some ASUU representatives voted to only strike portions of the section. Then, some ASUU representatives voted to reinstate the whole section as it was. The ASUU Senate has been the voice of reason, and twice has voted unanimously to completely strike this controversial section from the ASUU Bylaws.

Despite assertions by some ASUU representatives and The Chronicle, we, as members and representatives of ASUU, must comply with state and federal law.

The ASUU Constitution, 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 ASUU Bylaws, in Article IV, Section 5, state: “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 ASUU representatives have been choosing 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 together they have finally agreed to completely strike this controversial section from the ASUU Bylaws.

But there still are some ASUU representatives who wish to define and limit funding for religious groups and activities on campus, and 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 Sprunt

Education, Senior

ASUU Senate Vice Chairperson

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