January 24, 2022

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- A suspicion - Thaksin

– A suspicion – Thaksin

Although other non-profit organizations may apply to spread their message to students at the University of Southeastern Norway (USN), religious organizations are not permitted.

Different treatment inspires Carl-Johann Gjode, the team’s general secretary.

– It seems unknown. Imagine a religious student. Most of their daily lives are not welcomed. This is the suspicion of organized religious people.

The University of Southeastern Norway has campuses in Drammen, Kongsberg, Vestfold, Ringerike, Notodden, Bø, Porsgrunn and Rauland.

A paradox

Kjøde believes that different treatment is a sign that it is very difficult to demand views on religion and life and to talk without being full of conflicts.

– But students sharpening each other should not be a problem or a challenge. In this way, you exclude the total number of votes.

He explains that the worldview given in a subject that everyone has to take, i.e. that the university has such rules when teaching EGL is paradoxical.

– At the same time, they close their eyes to other ways of understanding the world. University students need to familiarize themselves with the outlook on life, while at the same time they only allow religious organizations. I just do not understand.

These rules are not limited to the USN. Our country wrote about it before this fall Christians and humanists at Westland University College do not have access to a position.

Loss to students

Martin Westol, chairman of the group at the Drammen and Surrounding Faith and Philosophy Forum, believes university guidelines limit student leisure activities.

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– In our view it is a loss to the students. Religious groups are an important welfare measure within themselves. Among other things, it offers young students the opportunity to create social networks. Controlling information about these offers on campus seems a little strange.

Vestol believes that it is more important to distinguish what the message is actually conveyed on the stand than whether it has a religious basis.

– There are purely secular and religious organizations, you have to say no, but it should be based on what they actually do and stand for, rather than a religious foundation.

In 2020, a new law on religious and philosophical communities was passed, emphasizing that “a philosophically open society is a better society.” The text of the law states, among other things, that “society will allow beliefs and beliefs to be understood” and that “religion and beliefs should not be invisible, but should be given the opportunity and conditions to contribute as cultural entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.”

Rector Peter Asen of the University of Southeastern Norway has decided that all exams at the university will be conducted as home exams.  Increased infectious pressure is part of the cause.  Photo: Trond Reidar Teigen / NTB

To be edited

Peter Assen, Rector of the USN, emphasizes that guidelines for those allowed to set up stands on campus vary between student organizations and outside organizations.

– All student organizations and associations in the USN should have access to meeting rooms and stands.

– How do you think these guidelines go with the idea of ​​a philosophical community?

– USN wants to be an organization that represents society in general, with a view to preserving diversity. It also highlights our agenda for gender equality, diversity and content. We do not feel that the policy practice regarding rent and stands imposes restrictions on this.

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Guidelines were prepared in 2016 to exclude outside religious organizations from setting up stands. Reidun Mangrud, USN’s director of communications and marketing, did not guarantee the guidelines would be changed, but said they would revise them.

– It would be natural to look back at our practice as it is in other universities and colleges. We are unable to determine at this time whether the guidelines will be changed.

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