To the Editors: 

I write in reference to your recent coverage of the controversy surrounding Bowdoin Christian Fellowship (BCF) and the requirements for student organizations. 

In the focus on questions of sexual orientation, a critical point has received insufficient attention. The non-discrimination policy requires student organizations to certify that they do “not discriminate on the basis of… religion” or “creed.”  The SOOC now requires the student organization leaders themselves to sign this policy.  

But what does the policy mean?  Does it require members of the Muslim Students Association to show no concern for whether a leadership candidate thinks Muhammad was a messenger of God? Does it oblige members of the Catholic Student Union or Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, when it comes time to their select leaders, to ignore whether candidates believe Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or the Son of God?

Surely it would be a cruel charade for the College to claim to welcome student religious groups on campus, and yet in the same breath to tell them they can’t choose leaders who share their “religion” or “creed.”

One would hope the policy aims only to require student organizations to admit any student to membership, but then leaves members free to elect leaders who share their faith commitments—commitments which are, after all, the very raison d’être of the groups.  If this is the meaning of the policy, we shall be grateful to hear it from the administration.

Colin LeCroy ’04