The Sydney University Union (USU) has backed down after previously insisting that religious societies remove their faith-based membership clauses. here is this morning’s Statement from the USU.
After long and thoughtful consultation with our religious communities on campus, the University of Sydney Union Board of Directors resolved at the April Board Meeting to amend the C&S Regulations to allow faith based declarations as a condition of membership and Executives of faith based clubs registered under the USU C&S program.
The Board has listened to its members and acknowledges the importance of such declarations to some of our faith based clubs and societies.
The religious societies within the C&S program welcome the decision and acknowledge the work of the Board in arriving at this resolution.
The Board will collaborate with the faith based clubs on campus over the next week to seek their full assent before putting any changes to the C&S regulations to the C&S Committee.
While not all religious clubs on campus require a faith based declaration, they unanimously recognise the importance of such provisions to a number of religious groups at the University.
This discussion has highlighted that student governance, be it of the USU or of faith based clubs, is critical in shaping our unique and vibrant student experience at the University of Sydney.
The Union will be working with the Chaplaincies on campus to oversee faith based declarations in the C&S Program.
The Board of Directors are also proposing the establishment of an ongoing “Faith Roundtable” to promote greater interfaith and intercultural understanding and to ensure that the voices of faith based groups are heard at the highest level of student governance.
We are confident that this will herald a new era of collaboration between the Board and faith based clubs on campus.
This statement was agreed to by the Board and representatives of the following Clubs & Societies:
Catholic Asian Students’ Society
Coptic Orthodox Society (FOCUS)
Sydney University Muslim Students’ Association