Welcome for agreement between NUS and Christian Unions

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The Christian think-tank Ekklesia has welcomed guidance on good relations on university and college campuses, drafted and agreed by the National Union of Students (NUS) and UCCF (which helps coordinate evangelical Christian Unions), with mediating advice from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU).

The guidelines - aimed at eliminating disputes about fairness, equality and freedom of speech - are in line with the law, university regulations, union regulations and the democratic principles of liberty, equality and respect for diversity.

Last year student unions were mired in threats of legal action by some involved in Christian Unions.

Ekklesia, which urged cooperation rather than confrontation, and produced a report (United We Stand) suggesting mediation instead of the use of courts to resolve the arguments, today welcomed the new guidelines.

"What is encouraging is not just the guidelines themselves, but the way in which they have come about through joint conversation", said Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow.

"Issues of free speech and responsible relations in diverse institutions like colleges and universities are a real challenge when people of faith and other life stances often have very different outlooks," he declared.

"But we can all agree that litigation and confrontation is no way forward. Instead we need dialogue and a common commitment to move forward in spite of differences, with real respect for equality."