Thursday, November 1, 2012

More Info on Universities Providing Religious Preference Lists to Campus Based Ministries

As stated in my previous blog, LSU was denied the Baptist Religious Preference list due to the privacy laws. They appealed that and the LSU attorney provided the opinion that they (BCM and other religious organizations) could receive it. This is because of the wording in the question that asks for the information.

Here is how it reads: "9. Religious preference-by indicating a religion, I understand my preference could be shared with campus groups of similar affiliation."

Some schools have taken the view that if a religious preference is given, that implies permission to provide it to those groups.

Some suggestions in having these conversations with your school officials:
1. Start the discussions on a friendly basis. Some start out mad and wonder why they don't get anywhere. Sometimes, the school official would like to give it to you, but feel they need the protection of some law or ruling.

2. Make clear that you will NEVER sell it or give it to someone not entitled to receive it!

3. In one situation where I served, the University did not collect the religious preference information, but told me it was on the SAT forms that students had completed and they gave me permission to buy them from SAT. SAT had to have the University approval before they would sell them to me. After gaining permission once, SAT continued to sell to me each year until the University began to supply the information.

AGAIN, the highest priority must be given to operating with integrity and being seen as professional in our dealings with University officials.

REMEMBER, their knowing and being able to say that other high level State Universities are providing this information is very helpful to them if they must justify their position to anyone. The University of Florida officials knowing that LSU had done it helped them decide to do it also.

ALSO, you might get turned down the first year, but don't give up! Perseverance may just pay off.

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