President Teresa Amott announced by email Tuesday that the planned student referendum on defunding IVCF would not proceed.
Common Ground requested the referendum after their direct initiative to defund IVCF was defeated in Senate earlier this term. Student Senate gave approval to the referendum at their general assembly on April 11 in the Alumni Room of Old Main.
After it was approved, the administration postponed the referendum. Vice President for Student Development and Student Senate Advisor Anne Ehrlich said that the school’s administration needed legal input on if defunding IVCF would go against the college’s non-discrimination policy.
In her email, Amott said that the Knox chapter of IVCF adheres to the college’s non-discrimination policy and does not require its leaders to agree with the national group’s stance on homosexuality.
“We are also concerned about the use of a referendum to resolve alleged discrimination against a marginalized group,” Amott wrote. “Too often in the history of this nation and others have majorities discriminated against minorities at the ballot box or in courts of law.”
Amott also expressed respect and admiration for the roles both groups play on campus, specifically citing Common Ground efforts to expand gender-neutral bathrooms and create a name-change process.
She ended the email by calling back to Knox’s founding values.
“Similarly, since its founding, the College has sought to create a community in which individuals can hold and express dissenting views as part of the educational process even when there is strong disagreement,” Amott wrote. “Both LGBTQ+ and Christian members of our campus community deserve full inclusion and the freedom to explore their identities and their beliefs.”
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