NDSU to allow freshmen to live off campus for religious reasons
BISMARCK (KVRR/KCND) – A subcommittee of the state Board of Higher Education says North Dakota State University must treat requests from freshmen for an exemption from its on-campus housing policy on religious grounds the same as it does any other requests.
NDSU requires freshmen to live on-campus, but there are exemptions.
The NDSU Newman Center, which provides housing and services to Roman Catholic students, filed a complaint with the board, alleging the University was denying student requests for religious exemptions. Six incoming freshmen students for the 2021-2022 school year asked for the exemption, so they could live in the Newman Living Center, adjacent to the campus.
The investigation found NDSU did not have a consistent policy with regard to religious exemptions. Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have said if a law or rule offers exemption for secular reasons, it must also do so based on religious beliefs.
Board member Nick Hacker said he wants Chancellor Mark Hagerott to develop guidelines for all 11 campuses to make sure they comply with the recent Supreme Court decision.