A pro-life group seeking recognition on a Christian college campus contends the school's administration is using the student senate – which recently voted to deny that recognition – as "cover" for the decision.
Bethel University, which has given full control over approval of student groups to the student senate, is standing behind the decision to reject the application from Students for Life of America. Having the pro-life group on campus, said the senate, wouldn't make the university a "better" place.
After some concern was expressed from the community, the Minnesota school issued a statement reiterating its policy:
"Some have asked why Bethel's administration doesn't intervene in situations like this," the statement read. "In fact, we do, but in a way that honors the living/learning community we foster at Bethel." The university added that "learning and personal development can be a messy process."
Matt Lamb, director of communications for Students for Life of America, says it's convenient for administrators to use the senate as cover.
"This is kind of a fallback for the university," he tells OneNewsNow. "They give the power to the student government to decide on whether or not a group can be approved as kind of a cover."
Lamb admits he was shocked when the senate stated, in its rejection, that Students for Life at Bethel would not make the university a better place.
"… I would say that's probably the most disturbing thing [about the rejection]," he reacts. "It's not an issue of paperwork or the group didn't turn in this right document – this is the student senators bluntly saying we do not want a pro-life group on campus."
The group's spokesman says after the Christmas break that they're hoping to work with the students and the university to get the group approved.
1/6/2020 - Story corrected to describe these activites at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN, not Bethel University in Tennessee.