Protecting Student Rights at Belmont University
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In a unilateral decision with little or no student input, the administration has mandated that 100 percent of the students who attend Interfraternity Council fraternity or Panhellenic Council sorority recruitment events and meet a minimum academic standard must be guaranteed an invitation to join.
On the surface, this might sound reasonable and inclusive, but when you take a closer look at this policy, it is deeply concerning and problematic for several reasons—for both fraternities and for all Belmont students and faculty.
The policy ignores the most central standard on which fraternities at Belmont select our members—character.
With this policy, the administration is forcing fraternities to choose between selecting men of character and our fraternal existence at Belmont. This is our home, but we believe that we should contribute to it by being organizations aligned with our Creeds, that practice what we espouse.
Beyond how the administration’s decision will affect fraternities, it should concern our peers across the student body. Admittedly, Belmont is a private university with latitude in its decisions, but when the decisions of a few can limit our freedoms—in this case, the freedom of association—what comes next? Is it restricting the free speech of someone who speaks out against a policy? Or who poses a controversial viewpoint? Is it controlling the content taught by faculty in the classroom?
Regardless of whether you like fraternities or not, IF YOU BELIEVE THAT STUDENT RIGHTS ARE PARAMOUNT TO PERSONAL AND INTELLECTUAL GROWTH, we encourage you to sign this petition so your voice is heard by the University Board of Trustees.
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