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InterVarsity imposes controversial policy

Ex-members react to new policy changes in WCF

Caren Holmes
Staff Writer

InterVarsity Christian USA announced earlier this month that it will be imposing “involuntary terminations” of employees who support same-sex marriage, as reported by Time in an article published on Oct. 6. Lauren Greenberg sits as Wooster’s InterVarsity Coordinator and is also the advisor to the Wooster Christian Fellowship, a student organization that is a chapter of InterVarsity.

InterVarsity, which employs more than 1,300 staff around the country, claims it is not proactively investigating the political and religious beliefs of individual staff members but is asking that employees come forward to express their disagreement with the theological positioning of the organization regarding gay marriage. According to the Time article, staff members who voice disagreement will be given a two-week termination window.

Jordan Trejo, head of Catholic Campus Ministries at Wooster, said that Wooster InterVarsity staff has been in conversation with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Dean of Students Scott Brown and Interfaith Ministries to discuss how Wooster’s chapter of InterVarsity will be moving forward in regards to this new policy. While Trejo could not provide any concrete statements regarding how the school will respond, he said that the many partners involved in this ongoing dialogue are taking the InterVarsity announcement very seriously.

Jahqwahn Watson ’17, former member of the Wooster Christian Fellowship, expressed their reasons for stepping down from the organization and ending their individual affiliation with the national InterVarsity chapter prior to this announcement. Watson said, “As a freshman, I considered InterVarsity to be my home.” They attended national conferences and felt the Wooster chapter was a progressive space in which students of all backgrounds could productively discuss issues of racial and ethnic inclusion.

However, they expressed concerns with the national organization and its positions on LGBTQ inclusion. Watson said, “Once I ran out of reasons to denounce my Queerness […] I began to desire communities and spaces which recognized the sincerity of my identity.” They articulated a deep appreciation for the leadership and staff of Wooster’s InterVarsity chapter, recognizing their role as progressive “spiritual counselors and agents of justice.”

They went on to suggest that their criticism of InterVarsity and its inclusivity is in regards to “the things that are determined from a national administrative level.”

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