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"... the University’s Mission Statement — Which Includes Tolerance and Inclusivity to All — Was Violated"

Posted on the 04 July 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

That an understatement from Audrey Jarvis, a 19 year old student working freshman orientation at California's Sonoma State University, after being ordered by an idiot supervisor to remove a cross from around her neck because it risked offending incoming freshmen.

The New American with details:

Jarvis, a liberal arts major, was working for the university’s Associated Students Production (ASP) organization, manning a student orientation fair, when the supervisor told her that the university SonomaStateUniversitysystem's chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items, and said the cross necklace “might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome, or it might cause incoming students to feel that ASP was not an organization they should join,” recounted Liberty Institute.

But it didn't just happen once. The supervisor approached Jarvis a second time, asking her to put the cross under her clothing or remove it — a suggestion that so angered the student that she left her job early.

Jarvis told Fox News, “My initial reaction was one of complete shock. I was thrown for a loop.” She added, “I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else. I was very hurt and felt as if the university’s mission statement — which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all — was violated.”

Hiram Sasser, a Liberty Institute attorney who is working with Jarvis to resolve the issue, told Fox: “It’s amazing in this day of diversity and tolerance on university campuses that a university official would engage in this type of obvious religious discrimination.”

He added that it's ironic “there are university officials out there who think that it’s okay to tell Christians to hide their faith, but would cringe if somebody said the same thing about hiding someone’s pride in whatever political or cultural affiliation they may have.”

Sasser said California law clearly indicates that “state employees may wear crosses while they are performing their duties as long as the wearing does not interfere with the employees’ duties or harm the employer’s business interests.”

As for the university, its PR department is doing damage control, with spokeswoman Susan Kashack acknowledging that the supervisor was “completely wrong” to ask Jarvis to remove her cross. “Someone who works here was concerned that the cross might be off-putting to students who are coming to campus for the first time,” she explained to Fox, but “it was absolutely an inappropriate action for him to make that request of her.”

Kashack emphasized that Sonoma State University's president Ruben Arminana was “was very upset” about the incident, “and asked me to contact Miss Jarvis and give a profuse apology.”

Added the university spokeswoman: “Things like this don’t happen here. It’s very unusual. People here are very aware of discrimination. It’s possible that political correctness got out of hand.”

Unusual indeed.  After all, the school is pretty public about their diversity and tolerance which includes a Safe Zone program:

The Safe Zone Program is designed to identify friendly and supportive students, staff, and faculty to provide support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students. The identification helps to promote visibility on campus and create a greater presence of support and acceptance to students, staff, and faculty that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgende or intersex.


The Safe Zone Program was developed by staff, students, and faculty, concerned about creating a safe and supportive campus climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning students, staff, faculty and administrators. On campus, members of our community sometimes do not feel that they can be open about their sexual orientation. Previous Campus Climate reports for over a 10 year period have shown, homosexuality is consistently one of the least tolerated diversity categories. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey 2007). In a world where some still find it acceptable to harass, attack, and even kill lesbian, gay, transgender people, it is important to make signs of acceptance and safety visible and pervasive. This kind of visible support for lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, intersex and questioning members of our community will go a long way toward creating a positive climate for all of us at Sonoma State.

Perhaps Sonoma State University officials might look to expand their "safe zone" coverage and include Christians wearing crosses around their necks.

Something tells me that won't go over well.

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