New guidelines from NUS and UCCF on Christian Unions and Student Unions working together.
Guidelines for students’ unions and Christian unions, ‘a real step forward’
The National Union of Students (NUS) and the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) today launched joint guidance to help students’ unions and Christian unions manage good local relationships. The guidance comes after tensions were reported between these groups in 2006.
The guidance, drafted and agreed by the NUS and UCCF, with advice from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), is in line with the law, university regulations, union regulations and the democratic principles of liberty, equality and respect for diversity.
Gemma Tumelty, NUS National President said:
“These guidelines are a genuine step forward for positive interfaith relations on campuses across the UK.
“NUS greatly values the contribution that faith societies make to campus life and we are absolutely committed to helping SUs and CUs work together to resolve any issues that they both may have.
“We hope that these guidelines help in those few instances where students’ unions and Christian unions have had problems, whilst reinforcing the excellent relations that the rest have.”
The Revd Richard Cunningham, director of UCCF: The Christian Unions added:
"In the vast majority of universities and colleges up and down the country, the CUs play an active and valued role within the students’ union - indeed, they are often the largest society on campus.
"We hope these guidelines will help in the very rare cases where certain student guilds have had difficulty understanding the deeply held convictions of the members of the CU, and will also help CUs play an even more active and productive role as members of the SU."
Moussa Haddad, Policy Officer - Race, Religion and Belief, Equality Challenge Unit said:
“Equality Challenge Unit is delighted to have worked with NUS and UCCF in developing these important guidelines, and that agreement has now been reached. We are confident that they will encourage the amicable resolution of disputes that may arise on occasion between students’ unions and Christian unions, helping to ensure that they can both continue to make positive contributions to campus life.”