Christian Club Sues Snow College Over Alleged Free Speech Issues

Thursday, October 25, 2012

An evangelical Christian club claims Snow College is unfairly giving "second tier" status to student groups that have a religious affiliation, constitutionally infringing on free speech and free association rights.

In a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court, the Solid Rock Christian Club alleges the designation deprives such groups from being able to reserve campus facilities without charge, to advertise events on campus and to receive funding from student fees. That allows the college to favor "the speech of popular groups and exclude unpopular ones," the club alleges.

The lawsuit names the college, top school officials, the school’s board of trustees and the state Board of Regents as defendants.

Scott Wyatt, president of Snow College, said Tuesday the lawsuit may be a result of a misunderstanding. He said that after realizing the impact of the affiliate status on religious clubs, "we undid this." Wyatt, who said he just received a copy of the lawsuit and had not yet read it, said it is possible none of the clubs were aware of that course correction.

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