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Issued on behalf of the Exeter University Evangelical Christian Union

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STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

19 January 2007

STATEMENT by the Exeter University Evangelical Christian Union response to the press release issued 18 January by the Student Guild


The Evangelical Christian Union at Exeter University is of the view that the service of legal proceedings was entirely appropriate. The ECU believes that if legal process had not been commenced the ECU would still be suspended and Christian students denied the full rights and privileges that all other students enjoy on campus (with the acquiescence of the university authorities).


The ECU accepts that a vague informal telephone conversation was made by Ms. Percy on 4th January; however the intent was unclear and was not in writing. The ECU do not accept that this was a lifting of the suspension.


On receipt of a letter from Ms. Percy, it was quite clear that the substance of the dispute continues; namely the lawfulness of the Equal Opportunities Policy (EOP). It is unclear on what basis the re-admittance to the Guild is based upon and whether the Christian Union can use its proper and historic name.


The ECU's concern is that the lawfulness of the EOP issue cannot be resolved through the internal appeals procedure, or, more importantly, the university and Guild do not want it resolved. The ECU is concerned that fundamental legal issues of religious liberty under the European Convention will be unresolved. The Christian Union at Exeter has been treated unlawful.


If the University and/or Guild assert that the acts of the Guild are lawful and the Christian Union can be readmitted according to the discretion of the Guild, the ECU believes it requires definitive assistance from the Court. The ECU regards the case as undetermined as a future Guild and University authorities could suspend it again. Therefore it is the view of the ECU that it is sensible for all parties to accept the jurisdiction of the Court. Full reinstatement as a Guild society means:-

  1. An admission of unlawful conduct.
  2. A full and unreserved apology and the name changed back to Christian Union.
  3. Legal costs to date.
  4. Full reinstatement, including all the privileges and rights of a Campus society, including free use of rooms, and the right to advertise events via Guild and campus facilities.

Re-admittance on uncertain grounds is not a resolution. The question is simple; do the university and Guild believe that the acts against the Christian Union are lawful?


ENDS.

The wording of this statement can be attributed to Ben Martin, a member of the Evangelical Christian Union, and in whose name the High Court proceedings have been issued.



For further information: Paul Eddy (PR) 01202 522177, 07851 007 187;


Paul Eddy, FRSA
Director
Paul Eddy Public Relations Limited
Kavanagh House
25 Ridley Road
Bournemouth BH9 1LD
T: 01202 522177
E:
W: www.pepr.co.uk

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