11:31am

Mon August 13, 2012
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Vandy Hopes New Chaplain Can Ease Tensions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Vanderbilt University has hired a chaplain in the hopes of ending a lingering controversy over its new, non-discrimination policy.

The "all-comers" policy at the school requires student groups to allow any student to join their groups and to hold office, regardless of their beliefs.

Since then, Christian groups have protested the policy and several lost their official status for refusing to sign on to the policy.

Carol Swain teaches law at Vanderbilt and is the faculty advisor for the student Christian Legal Society. She gave WMOT her take on Vanderbilt's new policy.

“It is unconstitutional to discriminate against a group because of their religion. It’s unconstitutional at the U.S. federal level, as well as in the State of Tennessee.”

The university announced last week that the Rev. Mark Forrester would be its chaplain and director of religious life beginning on Sept. 1.

The Tennessean reports that one of his first tasks will be to meet with groups that lost their status.