Update from the University of Sydney Union Regarding Faith Declarations in the C&S Program

Date : 02 May 2016 09:44 AM
  • University of Sydney Union

After long and thoughtful consultation with our religious communities on campus, the University of Sydney Union Board of Directors resolved at the April Board Meeting to amend the C&S Regulations to allow faith based declarations as a condition of membership and Executives of faith based clubs registered under the USU C&S program.

The Board has listened to its members and acknowledges the importance of such declarations to some of our faith based clubs and societies.

The religious societies within the C&S program welcome the decision and acknowledge the work of the Board in arriving at this resolution.

The Board will collaborate with the faith based clubs on campus over the next week to seek their full assent before putting any changes to the C&S regulations to the C&S Committee.

While not all religious clubs on campus require a faith based declaration, they unanimously recognise the importance of such provisions to a number of religious groups at the University.

This discussion has highlighted that student governance, be it of the USU or of faith based clubs, is critical in shaping our unique and vibrant student experience at the University of Sydney.

The Union will be working with the Chaplaincies on campus to oversee faith based declarations in the C&S Program.

The Board of Directors are also proposing the establishment of an ongoing "Faith Roundtable" to promote greater interfaith and intercultural understanding and to ensure that the voices of faith based groups are heard at the highest level of student governance.

We are confident that this will herald a new era of collaboration between the Board and faith based clubs on campus.
This statement was agreed to by the Board and representatives of the following Clubs & Societies:
Buddhist Society
Catholic Asian Students’ Society
Catholic Society
Coptic Orthodox Society (FOCUS)
Evangelical Union
Orthodox Fellowship
Sydney University Muslim Students’ Association




  • lol
    I'm glad the Union could use their resources in this way, looks like it was a great move and a good use of oxygen.

  • USU
    Deus Vult! And the best bit is that you can't delete my comment because it's my opinion and I have every right to say it and think it.

  • Common Sense Prevails.
    Thank you.

  • Flash
    Congrats USYD union on upholding freedom of religion and association. You have arrived at the right decision on this issue. I applaud you and I applaud the courage of the religious groups involved.

  • Let's specifically amend for faith-based groups rather than make a fair ruling.
    Because religious people are somehow more special than the rest of society.

  • Paul S
    Thank you to the USU for your openness to discussion and preparedness to change your position. Not easy to do.

  • Christian
    So happy to hear that the board came to a sensible decision that accords with genuine pluralism. Well done. To disallow groups to have their own dogmas would have been a tyrannically oppressive exertion of a totalising secularist dogma.

  • peter
    thank goodness for common sense

  • Charles
    A win-win decision making and solution.

  • J
    A good and fair outcome. It is because of a growing misunderstanding and disrespect of religion and religious groups that decisions like this need to be made. Glad USYD Union recognized the reasoning behind this issue.

  • A cynic mildly impressed.
    For once the union of arts students have done something with the time they have for their games of pseudo-politics. Well done.

  • Thank you USU..
    This is a sensible outcome and an important precedent as we set our path for respectful dialogue without heavy-handed forced consensus.

  • Hans
    Freedom to discriminate by certain religious groups?

  • Anonymous
    Thank you! Best decision by board yet.

  • The two pots.
    “Two Pots had been left on the bank of a river, one of brass, and one of earthenware. When the tide rose they both floated off down the stream. Now the earthenware pot tried its best to keep aloof from the brass one, which cried out: "Fear nothing, friend, I will not strike you." "But I may come in contact with you," said the other, "if I come too close; and whether I hit you, or you hit me, I shall suffer for it." The strong and the weak cannot keep company.

  • Q
    Was the Atheist society not consulted?

  • Skywalker
    Sorry to see no Jedi invited to meeting.

  • A relieved person
    Glad to see that the Union recognizes the rights of people in groups to make their own requirements. The day when it becomes unreasonable to require an association with any particular topic in a group to be a part of it will be a sad day indeed