Can a public college legally turn down a Secular Group?
If the campus already has a Christian and a Catholic Group, can they turn down a proposal to create a Secular Group that would have key functions, just without religion?
Interesting question. I'm assuming you mean a group which would be officially recognized by the college. While the board may set policies as to where group meetings can be held and the proper behavior of the group as a whole, they can't turn you down based on the religious or non-religious viewpoint of the group. They can however, rescind that official recognition if you break the established rules. For example, frats can be "kicked off campus" and frat houses closed by the college if those frats engage in underage drinking, disturbing the peace with loud noise during certain hours, or hazing new members. The same applies to any other clubs or groups.
This is the USA? Public has meanings. State School has meanings. A Public Catholic school need not allow atheist groups. A Public secular school need not allow Mormon groups.
Public means open to the public, not to all the public.
The publicity given, is not worthy to watch. We are free to assemble with who we want to assemble.
State school is different,,,, can they allow Catholic is the question.
Peeples you need to define your question more restrictively. "public" is not a term of art or even reasonable definition.
I'm with Eric in that I think you need to supply some definitions here. Bookshelf defines secular:
secular (sèk´ye-ler) adjective
1. Worldly rather than spiritual.
2. Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.
3. Relating to or advocating secularism.
It includes a couple more, but they don't seem to apply to your usage. When you say "public college" do you mean "publicly funded college" as in a tax-payer funded university as opposed to a private religious college? There are also private secular colleges, too, that some people might refer to as "public" although they are not.
Using the first definition of "secular", the group would be non-religious, so it is unlikely that the college would be interested in preventing a group from forming on campus unless they were known trouble makers. However, in today's climate of wealthy ultra-conservatives who are religious and contribute support to the public university, a group such as atheists or Satanists might have to go to court to try to exercise their right to exist.
Taxpayer-supported universities do accept private donations, such as privately funded scholarships, and are not supposed to discriminate, but those working behind the scenes can be mighty powerful.
Sorry y'all, when I said public I was speaking as I would to someone in my area, forgetting that you aren't here. Yes I meant publicly funded. The group already has multiple religious groups but doesn't have a secular group. I was considering starting one but a friend thought they may deny it. I wasn't looking to start an atheist group, just a group for people who would like to be part of a group without the religious backing.
I am curious as to what kind: a social group, a study group, a group that meets just to discuss various subjects like my friend's aesthetic club? I'm being very nosey.
Absolutely you can start one. Freedom of assembly is for sure guaranteed in our federal and all state constitutions. That means we can gather together for any lawful purpose on "state" land as long as we do not violate some other law like trespass.
Thanks Eric. I want to start a secular students club to work on various charitable things in our area. Mostly the homeless population and foster group homes.
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