As part of the settlement, the university agreed to grant Ratio Christi registered status, pay over $20,500 in attorneys’ fees and damages, and update its policies to ensure that a student club may require its leadership to promote the purposes of the club and hold beliefs consistent with the group’s mission.
Ratio Christi Campus Apologetics Alliance has nearly 200 chapters at colleges and universities in the U.S and abroad. These chapters—many of which meet weekly—provide a friendly venue for atheists, skeptics, and adherents to any religion to investigate the claims of Christianity, discuss religious beliefs, and seek truth without fearing reprisal. Ratio Christi’s mission is to equip students and faculty to give historical, philosophical, and scientific evidence for following Jesus Christ. The organization also has an apologetics outreach to high school students.
“We commend the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs for quickly implementing this common sense policy reform,” said ADF Senior Counsel Travis Barham. “It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president. Thankfully, the University has acknowledged its error and announced a policy that respects students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”
The lawsuit challenged the university’s policy which allowed USCS officials to deny registered status to a group because the organization selects leaders that share and will advocate for the organization’s religious or political philosophy. They also gave officials unlimited discretion to approve or reject student groups, even groups that meet all the published requirements.
Media representatives interested in more information about the settled case of Ratio Christi at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs v. Sharkey can contact ADF Media Relations at (480) 444–0020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.