NUC-U turn on leader relationships with non-Christians
“I couldn’t CU, now I can”
Leaders of the Christian Union have removed a clause which tells hall reps not to have relationships with non-Christians.
In a letter to nine20 leaders, the CU representatives in halls of residence, the CU stipulates that effective leaders and lovers of Christ are “expected not to pursue a romantic relationship” with other leaders, members of their halls and non-Christians.
All existing nine20 leaders have agreed to the conditions. Any hall reps starting in March, however, will no longer have to adhere to the same terms. President Sam Payne said: “It is not the CU’s place to micro-manage its members.”
Third-year student James Moore said that he thinks it is a good thing that the clause has been removed. “At the end of the day, it’s down to the individual to decide who they have a relationship with. It’s almost dictatorial in some ways, and not what I perceive the CU to be about. I’m surprised that was a clause, because from my own experiences, that’s not what they are about. They make it clear they’re there to help, listen and offer support, whether you’re religious or not.”
A former hall rep, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “Personally, I wouldn’t date someone who wasn’t a Christian, and I think most people who take their faith seriously would agree. That is not to discriminate but rather to make a statement about how seriously we take our faith, and would want to be in a relationship with someone who feels the same.
“I think the CU needs to say it in order to be consistent with what the CU stands for and most strong Christians would support it. Also, you have to remember that it is a choice to do it. If you don’t like what the CU stand for, then you are more than obliged to turn the role down, as I’m sure some people do based on questions such as this.”
History student Rob said: “One of my really close friends had to do this and her and a guy really like each other and literally are having to put off their ‘getting together’ to avoid breaching this contract thing, even though they’re crazy about each other and will only get about a month or so together before leaving – it’s ridiculous, I seriously disapprove of the whole thing and am glad they have removed the clause.”
Third-year student Joe Sammarco added: “If they have knowingly entered a role on that basis then they do so accepting the clause. But relationships are part of personal life so maybe it was a little far-reaching.”
The Tab had been informed by a former CU member that the society also held undemocratic elections and had an unwritten rule which refused to allow female speakers.
This, however, is not the case, and President Sam Payne has rebuffed the allegations, saying: “Nottingham University CU is an active and supportive member of the Students’ Union, compliant with all SU regulations regarding elections.
“There is a transparent nomination process, and a vote for all society members. The CU is committed to adhering to all SU policies and demonstrating best practice in these areas.
“Nottingham University CU does not have a policy regarding women speakers, as evidenced by a number of recent female speakers featured in the CU’s main meetings and lunch time Big Questions event. The lead speaker at the CU’s annual week of events, taking place next week (24-28 February), is also a woman.”