Policy for Religious Organizations on the Campus of Beloit College
Beloit College affirms the right to the free exercise of religion and spirituality by all its members. The College will neither abridge the rights of individuals to believe and worship as they please nor sanction particular forms of religious expression to the exclusion of others.
The college envisions and actively promotes a climate of multi-faith pluralism, in which all worldviews and wisdom traditions - including secular, humanist and atheistic ones - are included. No one is asked to give up her/his/their faith or identity, but all are challenged to recognize enough of one another's valid human claims to build relationships marked by curiosity, compassion, respect and nonviolence. Members of the College community are encouraged to dialogue with one another the richness of their own heritage, values and beliefs. Affirming the worth of each individual and of the principles which he or she holds dear, and celebrating the profound importance of religion and spirituality to many in our community, the College also recognizes that in discussing topics of deeply held conviction, some offense is always a risk. Dialogue in these areas requires sensitive listening and humility. It is through the work of communicating about our intensely held values that we will learn to appreciate one another and to live with our most significant differences.
2. Recognition, registration and student sponsorship of religious organizations:
- Beloit College student religious organizations
ii. may be recognized by the Beloit Student Congress, BSC.** (Registration with the Spiritual Life Program does not in any way alter the responsibilities a student organization must fulfill in order to be a BSC recognized club in good standing.)
- Organizations and individuals not affiliated with Beloit College and wishing to represent a religious/spiritual tradition on our campus or to serve a student religious organization in an advisory capacity
i. must be student sponsored
Registration with the Spiritual Life Program is to insure that the SLP’s Director remains in supportive contact with students interested or involved in religious and spiritual life activities at the College, and that all religious and spiritual organizations on campus understand and follow the spirit of the preamble above and the policies outlined below.
Registration involves a written commitment on the part of these organizations and individuals (whether or not they are currently affiliated with Beloit College as students, faculty or staff) to abide by the College’s policies about posting flyers, hosting events, using college space, and avoiding harassment. Registrants are asked to provide the name(s) and contact information for student leaders and non-student advisors. Registrations must be updated annually.
a. Posting flyers and other publicity: Posters and other methods of publicity are subject to College policy as outlined in the Student Handbook published by the Office of the Dean of Students. All publicity must clearly give “brought to you by” (btyb) information, with the name of the sponsoring individual student or student organization. Deceptive or misleading information is a violation of this policy. Student leaders should be the ones who post flyers and social media that advertise or invite others to participate ("in-house" communications can of course be initiated by students as well as by off-campus advisers).
b. Events, Meetings and the Use of College Space: All on-campus meetings of religious organizations shall be initiated by at least one Beloit College student or recognized student organization, and open at all times to any interested person. Room reservations may be made only by a Beloit College student, professor or staff member. Information about room reservations for religious and spiritual purposes can be obtained by emailing Bill Conover or calling him at 608-363-2389.
c. Harassment: All persons associated with religious organizations on campus are expected to abide by College policy on personal harassment. Harassment in a religious or spiritual context may be considered to include:
1. any patterns of pursuit or intrusion, by phone, mail or email, or in person (including knocking on residence hall doors or approaching people in public spaces) with the intent of recruiting someone for membership in a religious group without an initial request for information from that person; it is not harassment for a religious organization to invite individuals to a religious gathering or to offer them flyers or other materials; however, if a person says, in effect, “No, thank you, I’m not interested,” this must be respected;
2. any attempt to induce someone to drop a religious affiliation in favor of another or to push one’s beliefs concerning religion or spirituality toward any individual who has indicated they do not want this and has no reasonable way to avoid it; it is not harassment to express disagreement with other individuals’ beliefs or to commend one’s own beliefs for them to consider, invite them to learn more, attend meetings, pray, etc. However, if a person says, in effect, “You have your beliefs and I have mine, I don’t want to pursue it further with you,” this must be respected.
3. actions which are designed to coerce, either physically or emotionally, or to damage a student’s academic pursuits, financial status, or relationships with parents or peers.
4. Non-student religious advisors: Non-student religious advisors serving on the Beloit College campus (whether College faculty or staff members or those with no direct affiliation to the College) must be registered with the Spiritual Life Program; see page one, #2 above to begin this process. Those unaffiliated with the College are guests on campus and must be escorted by students if they are moving about residence areas.
These religious advisors are accountable to the Director of the Spiritual Life Program for upholding this policy, and expected to abide by the principles contained in the Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students (copies available in the Spiritual Life Program office) that apply to their work on the Beloit campus. They will be asked to gather each semester with the Director of the Spiritual Life Program to reflect on campus life and issues pertaining to the religious and spiritual well-being of the College community.