Bible Study not allowed at UW-Eau Claire?


According to several articles (e.g., this one and this update), there is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire that is an RA (Resident Assistant).  He has been told that he is not allowed to hold a Bible Study in his dorm room, because his studies might make other students not feel welcome when they come to him for help.
 
The logic of this argument is that he is an employee of the state, and he is on duty 24/7 – therefore, he must be open and available to all students in his dorm 24/7.  Furthermore, UW-Eau Claire has tried to clarify their policy by stating that they do not want RAs engaged in any religious or political activities in their dorm rooms.
 
A few flaws with this policy (which is now under review by the state’s Attorney General):
  1. If he is, indeed, an employee of the state 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is he getting paid at least minimum wage for all those hours?  At a minimum wage of $5.15/hr, is Lance making $865.20/week as a college junior?  I know many college graduates that are not making that much!
  2. If Lance were enrolled in the school’s theology course, wouldn’t this prohibit him from studying for any homework or tests with any study group in his dorm room? 
  3. If the solution is that he should do his studying outside the dorm building, doesn’t that make him less accessible to the dorm residents seeking his help?
  4. Finally, note only does this go against the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion ("no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"), but it also goes against another 1st Amendment right – freedom of assembly ("the right of the people peaceably to assemble").

I’m glad that the university is noticing that their policy doesn’t even agree with other schools in the UW system.  Hopefully, this ridiculous policy will not have to be battled out in the courts.

 

BTW, while I’ve got you reading the Constitution, please tell me where the phrase "separation of church and state" is in the Constitution.

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