original article: Students at Prince Charles’ old university vote to ban Bibles from halls of residence for not being ‘appropriately multicultural’
May 14, 2015 by RICHARD SPILLETT
Students at a Welsh university have voted to end a tradition of putting Bibles in their halls of residence in the name of ‘multiculturalism’.
Those studying at Aberystwyth University – which Prince Charles once attended – want to end the long-running practice of putting Gideon Bibles in dorm rooms at the start of term.
The Students’ Union at the west Wales institution claim the policy could be ‘offensive’ to non-Christians, but Bible groups have branded the ban ‘illiberal’.
A motion passed at a meeting of the Union called for all Bibles to be removed from halls of residence bedrooms at the end of the current academic year and students to instead be given an option to request a religious text if they want one.
University bosses with now decide whether to accept the students’ demands.
Speaking at the meeting, John Morgan, who put forward the motion, said: ‘Compulsory inclusion of Bibles in university bedrooms is inappropriate in a multicultural university such as Aberystwyth.
‘It could be offensive for some, and university should provide a safe space for students to explore and develop their beliefs in a neutral environment.’
He added: ‘Bibles should however still be available for those who wish to have them.’
Speaking when the motion was first proposed, James Catford, a former student of Aberystwyth University who is now the Group Chief Executive of Bible Society disagreed with the idea.
He said: ‘The answer to a diverse and multicultural society is not to remove all traces of diversity. That seems illiberal and intolerant.’
The Union has been criticised over claims less than five per cent of the 10,000-strong student body voted for the ban – with 300 in favour of the ban and 175 against at the meeting.
The Students’ Union said the vote result was now ‘binding’ and they were mandated to lobby the University to remove all Bibles by the start of the next academic year in September 2015.
On their website they said they 475 votes cast was ‘almost double the minimum requirement’ as set out in their ‘democratic structure’.
They said: ‘475 students voting is a higher number than any attendance at a democratic meeting and so we are delighted that we have managed to open up democratically to this extent.’
A survey of students at one hall of residence conducted in 2014 found almost half felt the compulsory inclusion of the holy book was ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘unacceptable’.
As spokesman for the university said: ‘The University is aware of a recent referendum vote that took place on the matter, and referendum’s result.
‘Aberystwyth University has a proud history of working with the Students’ Union on a wide variety of issues, and will work with representatives from the Students’ Union to facilitate students receiving spiritual texts which reflect their personal choice.’
bias, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, ideology, left wing, liberalism, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, public policy, relativism, religion