ECU - Another Irony of "Equal Opportunities"

Sat, 21/10/2006 - 21:50 -- James Oakley

I don’t know whether this week’s Church Times’ reporting of the Exeter CU (sic) debate is accurate or not. But:

The ECU had hoped to have a ruling overturned that had forced it to add the word ‘Evangelical’ to its title. Instead, it had its Student Union bank account frozen, and was banned from free use of Student Guild premises, or advertising events within the Guild.

The new equal-opportunities policy was introduced this term by the Students’ Guild. The Guild told the ECU that it failed to meet the criteria because of a doctrinal statement that all speakers and committee members have to sign.

The Guild asked that other people who did not abide by the statement should be on the ECU committee.

OK. So let me get this straight. All this is done in the name of Equal Opportunities. The CU has a Doctrinal Basis. It insists, reasonably enough, that (as a foundational document), all Exec members must subscribe to the DB.

The Student’s Guild insists that they appoint someone to their Exec who disagrees with the DB. The fact the CU is not willing to do this means that they don’t fit into the Guild any more.

The problem is this: It would seem that the Equal Opportunities Policy is being made a foundational statement for the Students’ Guild. (Only those societies who agree with it may join.) So shouldn’t the CU be insisting, in like fashion, that the Guild admit at least one society to its membership that disagrees with the EOP. After all, it seems that equal opportunities requires University Societies to relate to their foundational documents in this fashion.

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