Rutgers University group drops lawsuit after accord on choosing Christian leaders

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2003

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) A Christian student group has dropped a federal lawsuit against Rutgers University and agreed to the school's anti-discrimination policy in return for the continued right to select leaders who support its religious purposes.

The InterVarsity Multiethnic Christian Fellowship, a chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Madison, Wis., filed a suit last December asserting it should be able to choose like-minded Christians as its leaders. The university countered that any group receiving student fees needed to keep leadership open to all students.

A joint statement said Rutgers and InterVarsity agreed on a method for picking leaders that meets the university's anti-discrimination policy, which InterVarsity supports.

I can state unequivocally that Christian students can come to Rutgers and participate as equal and valued members of the university community,'' said InterVarsity president Michelle DeRitter.

InterVarsity has won in similar disagreements at several dozen campuses. The Rutgers case was the first to reach federal court.

The InterVarsity movement, which originated in Britain 126 years ago, sponsors chapters on 560 U.S. campuses and drew 18,700 collegians to its most recent convention at the University of Illinois.

InterVarsity has operated at Rutgers for more than 50 years.

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