(Editor's Note: The following is one of five guides written by FIRE in order to help protect the rights of college students.)
College and university campuses remain one of the only forums in which the rights of students of faith are regularly curtailed. The ease with which students are denied the right to associate freely among themselves, even in matters of conscience and religion, is profoundly disturbing, as is most students' inability to expose such denials as fundamentally unjust. FIRE's Guide to Religious Liberty on Campus provides a history of the struggle for religious liberty and explains how the legal and moral arguments for religious liberty apply differentially on public and private campuses. This Guide also answers pertinent questions such as:
What is the modern history and current status of the United States Supreme Court's view of the "free exercise of religion" and of "freedom of association"?
How do these concepts apply to student liberty on my college or university campus?
What arguments on behalf of religious liberty and the rights of conscience pertain to a private or sectarian institution?
What legal and moral arguments may be made against the imposition of double standards by academic administrators in a variety of areas of campus life, including religious freedom?