Last spring, the volunteer advisors of Bowdoin Christian Fellowship (BCF)—an organization of Christian students on campus—refused to sign the College’s Freedom from Discrimination and Harassment Policy. BCF advisors Rob and Sim Gregory disagreed with the provision of the policy that prohibits discrimination against any member of the community based on race, religion, sex and sexual orientation. After a protracted debate that gained national coverage, including an article in The New York Times, BCF decided to cut official ties with the College and keep the Gregorys as its advisors. 

This week the Orient reports that the College will offer student leaders of the new Christian Fellowship at Bowdoin positions on Bowdoin’s Interfaith Council despite the group’s official separation from the College. By making this offer, Bowdoin undermines its own Freedom from Discrimination and Harassment Policy and its efforts to protect LGBTQ members of the community. Last spring, the Student Organization Oversight Committee (SOOC) suggested steps BCF could take to stay affiliated with the College. Its members chose not to renew the group’s charter and are now making use of alternative resources.

The Christian Fellowship at Bowdoin must decide whether it intends to be a religious organization involved with spiritual life at the College—and comply with Bowdoin’s policies—or an independent group operating off campus. In the meantime, Bowdoin should enforce its decision to prevent discriminatory organizations from engaging with the student body in an official capacity. 

This editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient’s editorial board, which is comprised of Garrett Casey, Ron Cervantes, Sam Miller, Leo Shaw and Kate Witteman.