Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, July 12, 2010

Students Challenge ‘Our Lord’ on Diplomas

I think a lot of college students simply have too much time on their hands, so they take up worthless endeavors. Here's one example. Some students at Texas Trinity University in San Antonio lobbied to have the phrase “in the Year of our Lord” removed from their diplomas. A female Muslim named Sidra Qureshi, who was president of the Trinity Diversity Connection, objected to the wording because, she said, “not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.” Her arguments apparently persuaded the student government and a campus commencement committee.

This debate began last year when another Muslim student noticed the wording on a sample diploma in the student bookstore. He said this made him feel he was “a victim of a bait and switch” because when he applied to Trinity University, he was assured that the college maintained only historical ties to the Presbyterian Church and was not a religious institution. The College Republicans answered his complaint by pointing out that the campus includes numerous signs of its Christian heritage including the chapel, a Bible etching on the Trinity seal, and the name of the school itself, which is based on the Christian doctrine of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The board of trustees ultimately rejected the Muslims' request to drop the words "Year of Our Lord," but they based their decision on the university’s “heritage and culture” rather than any religious commitment. Their decision stressed the school’s dedication to diversity. College officials have made a concerted effort over the last decade to diversify the student body, increasing international students from one to nine percent. The student body self-identifies as 70% Christian and Muslims are only half of 1%.

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