Friday, May 05, 2006

It's better than it first sounds!

An excellent summary of the Alpha Iota Omega lawsuit at UNC-Chapel Hill, by my friend Jon Sanders (late of the Pope Center for Higher Education):

    Moving the goalposts — to the opposite endzone. Score! We win!
    WRAL News reported last night that a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Alpha Iota Omega Christian fraternity against UNC. The news didn't elaborate, making it sound as if UNC had won a significant victory in court.

    The Durham Herald-Sun gets to the heart of the matter:

      Judge Frank Bullock Jr. wrote that members of the fraternity had "filed this lawsuit as outsiders, challenging the university system, and end this lawsuit as insiders, fully participating in the university system. The claims of the original complaint are [thus] moot and the court will not allow plaintiffs to morph it into a new case." ...

      The three members of Alpha Iota Omega originally sued UNC in 2004 in a dispute over the university's non-discrimination policy that would have required the fraternity to admit non-Christians. ... But, as Bullock noted in his ruling, in March 2005,
      UNC amended its policy, allowing official recognition to "student organizations that select their members on the basis of commitment to a set of beliefs." In September 2005, Alpha Iota Omega applied for and received official recognition, the judge wrote, "entitling them to full and equal privileges at UNC for the 2005-06 academic year."

    In other words, AIO and Constitutional rights are the victors here. Nevertheless, sounding as if this outcome had been UNC's goal from the get-go, UNC Chancellor Moeser declared victory (if you were wondering whatever happened to the Iraqi Information Minister, maybe he's producing spin at UNC):

There's more good stuff that follows:  read the whole thing here:

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