by WorldTribune Staff, July 21, 2016
North Carolina State University has agreed to revise its policy banning Christian students from discussing their faith with other students after a court ruled the university’s solicitation policy unconstitutional.
NC State said it will no longer block the free speech rights of students after Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys representing the Grace Christian Life student group withdrew their lawsuit on July 19.
“University officials waste taxpayer dollars when they attempt to defend unconstitutional policies and when they force students to take a stand for their constitutionally protected freedoms,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Hacker.
“We hope the outcome of this lawsuit will serve as a deterrent to other universities who may be contemplating defending or implementing bad policies. All university policies should be consistent with both the First Amendment and the mission of those institutions to be a robust marketplace of ideas, which benefits everyone.”
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in June issued a preliminary injunction that negated the university’s former policy, which required a permit for nearly any kind of non-commercial student speech or communication anywhere on campus.
The ruling said the university was selectively enforcing its permit policy and singled out Grace Christian Life, a registered student organization, when officials told members of the group that they needed a permit to speak with other students in the student union.
“Students of any religious, political, or ideological persuasion should be able to freely and peacefully speak with their fellow students about their views without interference from university officials who may prefer one view over another. NC State did the right thing in revising its policy to reflect this instead of continuing to defend its previous policy, which was not constitutionally defensible,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer.