Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Catholic University of America reversed course last week to allow an NAACP chapter on campus after students assured school officials they would not advocate issues like abortion rights that run counter to university policy. Twenty students met last week with CUA president the Rev. David M. O’Connell and persuaded him to ask the student life staff to revisit the issue. The university had denied an application to form the student chapter in April on grounds that other campus groups already met the needs of minority students. Administrators also opposed what they said was the national NAACP’s promotion of abortion rights, which conflicts with Catholic Church policies. “We said all along we would be willing to revisit this issue when the students came back in the fall,” said university spokesman Victor Nakas. “They felt it was important for them to have a civil rights organization on campus.” Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, met with O’Connell over the summer and threatened to bring a lawsuit against the university. Mfume told The Associated Press the NAACP has no official position on abortion and such a decision would require a vote of the group’s more than 25,000 members. He speculated that university administrators misinterpreted the NAACP’s support of a women’s rights march last spring. “This sort of bump in the road is unfortunate,” Mfume said. “The larger Catholic community has been one of our strongest allies over the years” on issues of discrimination, equal opportunity and civil rights. In a statement, O’Connell wrote that students “made a compelling case demonstrating how and why a student chapter of the NAACP would be an important addition to our roster of student organizations, particularly in advancing the cause of civil rights.” Law student William Jawando of Washington, who filed the original application to form an NAACP chapter last October, said, “We want to talk about education, health care, voter registration, activism.” “It’s a good university,” Jawando said. “I’m not trying to be a destructive force from within. Like the country, it just has some issues, some problems, and it’s making progress.” Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.